Although she is almost fully formed, taller than me, supremely more intelligent and sophisticated at just the tail-end of fifteen, I sometimes hear her as if she were still a toddling babe.
A voice that spent its formative years immersed in Cumbrian sounds, so that it seemed, for a while, as if a “bath” was going to rhyme with a “hat”….until a move at nearly four, to a Hebridean Island where those influences were swiftly put aside in favour of a generic southern English. In spite of twelve years since lived in Scotland, there is little to be heard of any Caledonian lilt, except, perhaps, when she sings in the school choir.
She has mastered Shakespeare’s Lady Capulet, knows every word from Hamilton and can put on Cockney or Glaswegian with the best.
Yet sometimes, in the midst of her articulate, diaphragmatically supported conversation, I hear that little girl. That voice which constantly questioned, sought out cuddles and put the world, irrevocably, to rights.
It throws me off guard, reminds me of where we once were….and makes me both excited and trepidatious about the stories it will go on to tell.
Photo credit: Steve Carter