A few weeks ago, my son's school contact book requested a 'family picture' for a project they were working on. As I've discussed before, unless any of the teacher's read my columns here, or pieces I have written in the Daily Mail about my home situation, they are unaware of our set up, and for the sake of avoiding gossip in either the staff room or the playground, for the time being, I would like it to stay that way.
The request for a family pic immediately put me in a spin. My son's christening photos were the only ones we have of us all together, and they were of him as a baby, so no use for the current topic.
Short of getting us all standing together for a completely staged pic, I wasn't sure what to do. I wrote, rather pathetically, in his contact book that I didn't have 'access' to a photo of myself, Will and his dad, but perhaps a picture of Will and his two little cousins would suffice as a 'family picture?'
His teacher duly wrote back: 'a snap of him and his cousins will be fine'.
That was two weeks ago. Today my son returned home from school with the completed project. "I drew a picture of us as we didn't have a photo," he said, handing me an A3 sheet with three figures on it. Me, his dad, and him. All holding hands and smiling.
I swallowed a hard lump in my throat and fought back tears.
Have you ever been reduced to tears over your children's innocent reactions to the complexities of separation?