The solicitor pushed the document across the heavy, dark wood table to where Clare and I were sitting. “Do you have any further questions?” he asked.
Clare and I shook our heads and I signed my name on one piece of paper and Clare signed her name on the other. The solicitor and his assistant witnessed each of the documents and we were done. We had new wills.
For the last six years we have been talking about updating our wills. Having children changes a lot and our old wills were hopelessly out of date – they were written in a world where Arun and Meri didn’t exist.
Most father-in-laws will tut at couples like us who have got children but haven’t got up to date wills. However, mine did with very good cause. Having a will is vital for most families with children but all the more critical for ours because of Arun’s disabilities. Given his cerebral palsy, autism and learning difficulties, it is very unlikely that Arun will ever be able to manage his own affairs. We needed to make provision for him and leave very clear instructions to his guardians about our wishes for him and his sister.
Anyway, after six years of procrastination, we were finally in good order.
A few days later was I waiting in the playground, looking for my little daughter’s face to appear at the classroom door after her fourth ever day at school. Through the milling throng of children I spotted her smile and watched delighted as she waved excitedly as she saw me.
Released by the teacher, she scampered out to me.
“How was your day at school?” I asked. “What did you get up to?”
“Some of the children have a lunchbox. Can I turn my Miss Kitty backpack into a lunch bag?” She blurted out.
“Eh?” I was confused. “But you don’t need a lunch bag. You have a hot school dinner. That nice Mr Clegg explained to me that he had organised it for you. The way he goes on about it, I expect he cooked it himself as well.”
“But I want a packed lunch!” She was insistent.
“I don’t have time to make you a packed lunch every day.” I too was insistent. “And anyway, a hot meal is a lot better for you. Now,” I said changing the subject, “how was your day at school?”
“Not telling you.” She said. “I’m not going to tell you what I did today unless you let me have a lunch box.”
I laughed out loud.
I recounted the story to Clare later that week as we were sitting down to dinner. “She was quite adamant.”
“She’s definitely going to be a lawyer isn’t she? Does she remind you of anyone?” Clare smiled raising her eyebrows.
“I just hope those wills we signed are watertight,” I shook my head in disbelief. “If there’s the slighted chink in them she’s gonna take that poor solicitor to the cleaners.”
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