Last week, what with three sick women in the house (Senior Management and two of our three children were home with the latest flu-bug for several days), and a promised deadline to meet, I was 'living in interesting times', as the Chinese would say. I've been feeling a tad unhealthy myself, so by the time I got home from the after-meeting coffee and chinwag with some of the guys from the Monmouth Creative Writing Group on Thursday night, I was ready for some serious shut-eye, but then the most amazing thing happened.
At 11:48pm, I woke up to hear one of my 13-year-olds call out, 'Daddy'.
As the designated 'housewife', it's my job to sort out the children at night, so I dragged myself out of bed and went in to see her. She didn't want juice, or a cookie, or help of any kind. She wasn't upset, in fact she was giggling. As I bent down to tuck her in, she gave me a big hug. She just wanted me. That may not sound like much, but it's the first time in nearly fourteen years that either one of my, severely autistic, daughters has ever called out 'Daddy' from another room. The fact that she called for me just so she could give me a hug made the moment all the more special.
I'm not ashamed to admit I shed a few, proud tears.
Now, if I can just get her to call out at a more sociable hour.