Oh dear.  I’m not looking forward to collecting Lola B from school and telling her that the Tawny Owl chick that she had insisted we name “Twiglet” has died.  I expect wails of grief.  The Wildlife Centre rang to tell me.  His body condition was very poor, apparently.  On a scale of 1-10, it was only 1.  Indicative of not being fed for a while, suggesting that either his parents had stopped feeding him days ago and were concentrating on other chicks, or that he had fallen out of the nest days earlier and we had not been there to spot him.  Perhaps we should have left him where he was, and let Nature take its ugly course.

I’ve been impressed recently by Lola B’s ability to find creative ways of dealing with difficult things.  Next to our little nuclear family and Wolf, the most important thing in her life is Diamond, her pony.  Lola B is, despite her best efforts, growing out of Diamond and, sooner, rather than later, she will have to give Diamond up to a smaller rider.  The mere mention of Life-after-Diamond used to reduce her to tears, but after a recent episode, we made some progress.  She wanted me to name a date, insisting that it would make it easier for her.  I understood that it made everything more certain: it was a known horror that had to be faced rather than an uncertain, unimaginable happening that might creep up at any moment. The known rather than the unknown.

Then, only hours later, she came down stairs, having talked to a friend on Messenger.  She looked much happier, composed.  She had worked out a solution.  Her friend also has a pony, and is also growing taller.  They agreed that they would both move on together so that they could share their grief …

Just one of the many times when I’ve looked at my children in amazement and wondered how they seem to be about thirty years ahead of me.