The first time I have driven the car with Bear, without Beloved. Just us, pulling out into the street with its rat runners, the ever-present death only the numerically illiterate can minimise.
Is she strapped in properly?
Will we be rammed by a truck doing 140 as we turn into Separation Street?
I sign a Bear into childcare, it is all good. She cries, I pick her up and we share another cuddle, the carer looks slightly impatient as if saying 'if you did this more often you'd make less of a fuss'.
Later I'm agitated. Time to leave early and I'm half running to the train. It is late. It is always late when.
As I see her I call out her name. She runs over, face wide and pleased- I want to say 'sorry we didn't play in the park all day but I know you've had fun'. She points to a couple of classmates, says their names. I'm proud. She's highly verbose, something I claim some credit for.
Then the car and the roads are busier and people are jockeying for nothing and risking death for me and for Bear and I direct unpleasant thoughts towards them. At one point 'fucking dickhead' pops out of my mouth and I'm quickly singing and hoping and thank you Bear she doesn't start repeating that one!
When we're home and she's fed and we're running around the couch chasing and she stops and laughs and we sit there laughing loudly at each other then I am at peace with the world and all is pastels.
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