In an intense and harrowing day, I grab a few moments to sit in the front room, in my favourite armchair and read the papers. Unusually, J is there, and even more unusually, he is reading a book. It is about a composer Lutoslawski. He asks me questions about words and First World War politics. It is comforting, this interlude with my sprawling son, talking about when the National Socialist Party was formed. In difficult times, we must take comfort in the strangest of places.
But then J says something else. Totally out of the blue, he stops reading and tells me that what I am doing with L is really wonderful and I am doing a great job and that he thinks it is brilliant. I am silenced, with a lump in my throat and prickly eyes. I thank him and tell him we all love her and we will all do our best. We both go back to reading, but like the balloons overhead yesterday, it is a much needed boost that will keep me going in the days ahead.