So the girls left this morning.
My boy goes the day after tomorrow.
I wanted to wave the girls off. I wanted to press my face to the glass of the departures building. To make sure they were standing in the right queue. I wanted to wave energetically, to blow kisses.
Go Away said the man with the badge. You can’t stand there. You must go. I ignored him. He chased me away in the end so that I had to duck beneath a cordon with everybody watching.
I didn’t care.
I’d taken what I wanted: stolen two whole weeks with the children when we drove across country, spent long but oddly precious hours cocooned in the car together (6 the first day, 5 the 5th, 4 the 6th, 8 on the 10th and 13 yesterday) so that they were all, all, within delicious proximity: to hold, to touch, to watch as they slept, to laugh with, to talk to, to argue with over what music to listen to, to feed.
We played cards; we drank cokes by hippo slicks so jam packed the knobbly-kneed marabou stork tottered from the back of one to the spine of another like unkepmt old men, stepping stones to soup-thick water bubbling with cat fish; we watched elephants meander through miombo just, just begining to blush green, excited and impatient for imminent rain; we spent four days on an inland sea bejewelled with sunlight and bedecked with cichlids; we ate sushimi (the children for the first time, and with gusto); we kayaked; we swam; we snorkled; we got sunburned; we enjoyed a picnic breakfast in the furthest flung corner where the termites build homes like toadstools and where the tsetse flies bite so hard you’d swear they had teeth.
I wrung every last little drop out of those 16 days. I intend to do the same with the last two with my son.
I shall press my face against the glass on Tuesday. I shall watch to make sure he is in the right queue. I shall wave energetically, I shall blow kisses and the man with the badge can go to hell.