Her granddad made me a cup of tea and Mersina explored the bookshelves and the newspapers. Not long afterwards her daddy made an appearance and I went off to have a shower. A long shower. A long shower with no worries about what the baby was up to.
I then went down to breakfast which someone else had made, and which Mersina helped stir, and sat down to a table already set. I had orange juice poured for me and honey and sugar already set out on the table to go in the porridge. Mersina loved her honey and porridge and had her whole bowl of it.
M’s grandmother and her daddy and I went to church and M did lots of running around and playing. A surprising amount, really, for a church service. She was so tired that she fell asleep in her pushchair for over an hour once we got back. I read the newspaper and complained about bits and pieces in the newspaper.
We went out for lunch and for a swim where Mersina showed off her underwater swimming skills and her holding on to the side of the pool skills.
There was a soft-play area which Mersina loved and kept going back to even though it terrified me. There were lots of little kids in there and most of them seemed to be super-speedy and aggressive boys who charged around and poked at people and threw things. I wanted to grab her and get her out of there a few times but her dad was a little more restrained.
Throughout and after lunch she had four bodyguards, effectively, as the grandparents and her dad and I all went in there with her. It was really heartbreaking in a way to see her so defenceless out there in the “real world”.
The night before, at dinner, Mersina’s daddy sat next to her and fed her so I had the time to just eat my food and drink my wine before taking her up to bed where she slept in a travel cot and I had the whole bed to myself.
A lot of it reads so ordinary but it was anything but. I was with people who were as much family to her as I am. They took care of her and watched her and gave me some time and it was the loveliest Mother’s Day that I could have imagined.
Mersina, via her dad, gave me a Banksy print as a present and it is one I always associate with her and love. A little girl lets go of a heart-shaped balloon as if to say where you go, my heart goes with you.