In the past week, Smiling flower’s imagination has properly launched. Her speech therapist says that imaginative play only develops once there has been a certain level of language acquisition. So, as we are all learning a new language, we are thrilled at this development. Wonky donkey, rabbit and vibrating polar bear have all been treated to chocolate biscuits, banana and a variety of invisible foods during our pretend tea parties. We have had many cookery lessons which have necessitated much stirring of saucepans (personally I think we were making jam). Then at bathtime poor Upsy Daisy has also been forced to perform ever more frantic dances in the bubbles. The smile on smiling flower’s face, and the excited curling of her toes as we sit and play, has been a joy to see.
Particularly this week. This week it is 14 years since my Dad died. Some anniversaries have been very hard, some have passed almost unnoticed. But this one is a pensive one for some reason. I think, the more smiling flower grows into herself and reveals her personality, the more I am able to see little bits of Grandad Trevor shining through.
Grandad Trevor had a vivid imagination. He wrote poetry and often seemed to be off inside his head, thinking about something very different from whatever was in front of him. He also loved the outdoors and the wild Welsh mountains. Pete and I often comment that our girl is a Welsh girl at heart; she too seems to love the fresh air, the wind and the wide open space. And then there is the matter of giggling. A friend once said that her lasting memory of my Dad was his jolly giggles, which surprised me at the time. But, on reflection, I can see the truth in it. I was driving home yesterday imagining my Dad learning sign language. He had a great capacity to indulge silliness on occasion (a core skill for BSL beginners). I had a lovely image, for a moment, of him and smiling flower giggling over a fun sign… I sometimes hear something of him in her mischievous ripples of laughter.
I love you Dad. I hope one day our imaginative, giggling, wild mountain girl knows you through us, and loves you too.