Sticky tape

The fact that our family is small is something we’ve been talking about a bit this week. Tom has to make a family tree at school. Even though the teacher explained in her request for photos that all shapes and sizes of tree will be celebrated, I knew Tom’s was going to look particularly tiny and lopsided. So, we had the chat about how lots of people love him and it’s a shame the cat isn’t allowed on the tree and then he gave me a massive squeeze and told me I am the best thing in the entire history and it all felt OK.

Fast forward to this evening: My sister was coming to meet Tom after his swimming lesson and we were hurriedly wrapping her birthday presents and writing her cards in the foyer of the pool.

Being organised (I thought), I’d bought one of those paper gift bags, so that I could just wrap the presents in tissue paper and shove them inside, without any need to worry about things like scissors or Sellotape.

“What are you doing?” asked a little girl from Tom’s class, peering over the table.

“Wrapping my auntie’s birthday presents,” said Tom.

“You need Sellotape,” she said, as I wrapped a sheet of tissue around an umbrella and twisted it at the ends (like people do to make presents look like crackers at Christmas, even though it isn’t Christmas.)

“We haven’t got any Sellotape,” I said, plonking the brolly into the bag and moving on to the chocolate.

“When my mummy wraps presents, she always uses Sellotape,” said the little girl.

“My family,”  said Tom, stopping to add in a word, “my little family –  is a bit disorganised sometimes, but we make a great team.”

True, that.

This is a divi tree from the Caribbean. They never grow very big and lean one way because of the trade winds. Photo: Aruba Divi Tree – Eagle Beach by Serge Melki on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons:



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5 responses to “Sticky tape

  1. Tom says it like it is! 🙂 Love this piece! How are you getting on with the book?

    • Emily

      He certainly does.Thanks for asking about the book. It is really hard to fit in around real life but I am finally on the home stretch now. Watch this space!

  2. I also am really looking forward to your book : me and my son are a ‘micro family’ too, and it is sometimes really hard to feel like a ‘proper family’. I had to stop reading Nicola Hodgkinson’s book ‘Life with the Lid Off’ today, which is supposedly about the rural struggles of a single mum,because of the bit where she says how glad she is to have had three children rather than just one, because she still feels like a proper family. So insensitive and smug!

    • Emily

      Thanks for your encouragement. I haven’t read Life With the Lid Off, but I may well give it a go… once this manuscript is out of the way.

  3. Oh bless him, what a great thing for him to say. He sounds like a wonderful boy.

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