Daddy, her daddy.
We were lying on the bed, sprawling, actually, in the heat, letting the warm air dry us off after our bath. It's the good bit about being 'just me and you', hanging out with X like this. She's such an undemanding friend, always happy to play with a phone or tinker with a toy while I do whatever I choose to do alongside.
I was checking emails with half an ear on a rather good programme about fathers on the on the box, charting the decline of respect for Dads since Victorian times. They played that wonderful clip from The Railway Children- Jenny Aguter running down the
platform crying:" Daddy, my daddy.' It always gets me, -well, it gets everyone, doesn't it- her a teenager letting out her plaintiff childhood cry that shows she's held her Daddy close to her heart throughout his absence. My Daddy was away at sea when I was a little girl but it was when he came home that times were often the most confusing as we'd learned to live without him in many ways while he was away and reassembling the family unit with him back in it meant all kinds of new habits. Maybe the Railway Children would have got fed up with their Daddy being there all the time, if the book hadn't ended.
'Daddy, her daddy!' X, points at the telly. 'That's her Daddy, 'X watches intently as Jenny runs to her Daddy through the steam. 'She's got a Daddy, like my friend E has and like C has,' she turns to tell me.
'That's right,' says I,' but you haven't got one, have you?' I'm interested to know if anyone crops up in her mind. Does she have a father figure?
'No,' she says cheerily, 'can you buy me one?'