The morning of the first day of chemo I take DD to school. She's unusually clingy and won't stay in the class line because she says the boys are making fun of her (this is my daughter we're talking about so normally she wouldn't take any rubbish). I squat down to her level to try and find out what's wrong, so as the classes move in to the school we are both little people in a forest of adult legs. But she won't be drawn on it until I mention the word "hospital". I was trying not to lead her, but I hit the nail on the head and can only watch as her face crumples and she clings to me like she's drowning, incoherently sobbing into my coat.
I'm not supposed to, but I lift her up and cuddle her until all the rest of her class have gone in. Then I find her teacher and hand her over, explaining through my own tears what's happening. The poor woman - every time I've met her she's had to cope with a family drama. Yet another reason not to take up teaching...
As I leave I bump into a former neighbour who offers a shoulder to cry on. She is, as always, offering to do anything we might need but this is the best thing she can do for me right now.
When I phone the school office later, the secretary says all is well in DD's class. When I get home from hospital, DD is ecstatic to see me. Turns out she didn't realise I was coming home today and she thought I was staying in hospital. Another lesson learnt.