“Duh. Course not,” she says.
“I can come and get you at any time. Just get them to phone me.”
Next evening she’s off, without a backward glance. I cry. Middle Child sends me to bed, where I sob into Biggie Smalls, the feline hot water bottle.
The following afternoon there’s a call. It’s Youngest.
“Sniff, hello Mum, sob, sniffle.”
“Baby! Are you all right?”
“Sob. Yes, it’s just I miss you.”
“I miss you too. I bet you’re having a really nice time.”
“Well, yes, but I was thinking about you, and how I have no grannies, and Margaret was like my granny but then she died and … sob. Oh, got to go … busy. Bye.”
There are background shouts and laughter then the line goes dead. I cry some more.
Next day she’s back, grubby and full of chat about the beach, rock pools, her four terrible injuries in two days.
“Well, you’ve had a brilliant time. And you did the right thing to phone.”
“When you phoned. If you’re a bit sad, it’s the right thing to do. I missed you too. And I maybe cried a little bit as well.”
“Did you? What a freak.”
That’s my girl.