Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
We stopped at a little shop a mile or so away and I bought us each an ice cream which we ate as we sat in the car. “How d’you feel now, kiddo?” I asked him.
“Glad you’re my mother.”
“Well, if it comes to that, I’m glad I’m your mother, too.”
“The police would have prosecuted me, wouldn’t they?”
“I don’t know, they’d probably have let you off with a caution, but it wouldn’t help anything.”
“But if you hadn’t made them look for more film, they might have just done me.”
“We’ll never know, will we? So I think there are more important things to speculate upon—like what shall we have for dinner tonight?”
“I don’t think I feel that hungry at the moment, Mum.”
“No, neither do I, but the others might. Such are the joys of running a household.”
“I don’t think I could do your job, Mum.”
“Which one? Defence counsel, university teacher, or housewife superstar?”
“Any of them.”
“You’ll never know until you try.”
“I think I’ll pass on the offer, Mum.”
“As you wish.”
He gave me hug and burst into tears. “I was so frightened when that man grabbed me and then the police came.”
I put my arm round him, “Hey, no need to get upset, it’s all over now.”
“You won’t tell the others, will you?”
“I think it might be best if we did—they’ll all be on your side.”
“Ashamed of what?”
“That I caused you so much work.”
I held him tight, “Danny, never feel ashamed of something you didn’t do, and never think my looking out for any of you kids, is too much work. You’re, my son, I’m proud of you and sworn to look after you. I love you, kiddo. It’s what mums do.”
“I love you, too, Mum, an’ I’m glad you’re my mum.” He sniffed and snorted and I held him until he calmed down. “Can we go home now?”
“Unless there’s somewhere you’d rather go.”
“I need a wee—soon.”
“Okay,” I smiled and started up the car. We were home about ten minutes later and he rushed into the cloakroom.
“Everything, alright?” asked Stella.
“Yeah, I think so.”
“I’m around if you need to talk.”
“Thanks, but I think it’s all sorted. It was all a misunderstanding and wrongly deduced evidence.”
“Okay, but the offer stands.”
“Thanks. I could murder a cuppa.”
“Get your slave to make it.” She pretended to be offended by my request but still put the kettle on and made some tea. I sat quietly while it cooled enough for me to drink it, then sipped it down in almost one go, sweating as I put the mug down.
“You thirsty or something?” asked a bemused Stella.
“Something I think, but that feels infinitely better. I must go and change.”
“Is that one of my old suits?”
“No, I got this in a charity shop for twenty five quid a year or so ago.”
“A charity shop? Coco, will be turning in her grave.”
“Not much I can do about that.”
Danny emerged from somewhere, I noticed he’d changed and was wearing his jeans. “What are you up to, son?”
“Thought I’d go and give Gramps a hand in the garden.”
“Good idea, I’m sure he’d appreciate it. Ask him if he’d like a cuppa?” Danny went out of the kitchen with a bigger spring in his step than when he’d entered through it earlier.
I made Tom and Danny drinks and took them out while they laboured over weeding the vegetable bed. “That looks very neat and tidy, Daddy.” I remarked.
“Aye, weel It’s tae dae wi’ yon son o’yers. He’s daen most o’ it.”
“I only do what you tell me to do, Gramps.”
“Aye, sometimes, ye scunner.” He smiled at the boy who beamed one back to him. They have a great relationship and Danny seems to really enjoy doing his gardening. I heard the mower in the distance and Simon emerged from behind the shed pushing it.
“Hi, Babes, just doin’ my bit to help keep things tidy.”
“I thought the mower wasn’t working?” I asked Tom.
“Aye it wisnae, someone f’got to put ony petrol in it.”
I left the three wise monkeys to finish their horticultural endeavours and went inside to sort out the dinner. I decided to do a cottage pie, which I know they all like and is relatively easy to make. I cooked the mince base while the potatoes were boiling in the pressure cooker. Then a quick creaming of said spuds and spread them on top of the mince, brown under the grill and serve with mixed veg or as today with chopped tomatoes and mushrooms and a few peas just for their colour.
For dessert I had some Greek yoghurt and defrosted blackcurrants, which I warmed in the microwave.
The girls were still practicing the racing car play station game and Trish was getting her knickers well and truly twisted because Mima was beating her relatively easily. At one point I had to go in and threaten to remove the game machine because there was so much swearing going on.
I took Trish to one side and lectured her, “Now look here, young lady, you can’t expect to be better at everything than everyone else. It just doesn’t happen. So stop being so competitive, in games and things that is rather a boy thing.”
“So Nicole Cooke is a boy is she?”
“Nicole Cooke rides a bike professionally, it’s what she does for a living and it literally pays to be competitive then, because the winner tends to earn more money.”
“You like to win on a bike too, I’ve seen you racing the others, Mummy.”
“You haven’t seen me race, because I don’t do it. Remember I’m rather a bit bigger and stronger than you, and tootling along at your pace or Meem’s is boring. So every now and again I ride a bit harder so that I get a workout as well as you lot. I’m not racing you, if I was you’d only see me for the first hundred yards.”
“That’s a boy thing, Mummy, making threats.” She smirked and walked off. I went back to my drudgery in the kitchen. One of these days, that smart arsed kid of mine is going to come unstuck big time. I only hope I can deal with her trauma and contain it.
I called them in for dinner and after the boys washed their paws, I’d already sent the girls to do it, I dished up the dinner. It disappeared off the plates faster than even Kiki can make it go—I hope that meant they enjoyed it, rather than it was so horrid they had to eat it quickly. Jacquie, Stella and I were still eating ours while the boys were almost licking their plates.
Tempting providence, I asked Simon, “Was that alright?”
“Alright? It was bloomin’ delicious. Is there any seconds?”
“There’s a little left in the dish.”
“C’mon, Dan, let’s polish it off before the others find out.” He patted our son on his shoulder and they walked over to the Aga and the remaining cottage pie.
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