They are very often in hideous duck bill shaped shoes.
Just like mine.
Freya wears them too.
I said goodbye to Rachel at the grading at Darling Harbour. She made me bawl in public, stuck between a gallery of strangers and curious friends. She's going back to England for a year, maybe forever.
Rachel's a brave woman. She walked with me up Darling Street when we lost Jordan. I was bung eyed from bawling for days. I had snot and tears running uncontrollably down my face. If she was perturbed at my lack of a stiff upper lip, she never showed it.
She was there too, when Rufus was sick. I remember bawling on her, squashed into a corner of a cafe on Oxford Street on a dismal rainy day.
I bawl way too much for a person of my age. Why I haven't yet learned to have more equanimity and accept The Things I Cannot Change is beyond me.
I told her how scared we were of making the wrong decision, of not knowing when the right time would be to let him go.
She told me the story of a dog she'd had a long time ago.
One night, when the dog was quite old, it went from one family member to the next, had a moment with each, then went to its bed, fell asleep and didn't wake up again.
How lucky, I thought. If only we could all say such elegant goodbyes.
Freya and Tiggy are the only children Georgia knows. She's known them since they were tiny enough to gobble up.
Did I mention Rachel is a brave woman?
They're not so little anymore.
This is her atabaque that Rufus fell in love with, and that now sits in my study.
It's been drowned in Raid, wiped down with 100% pure eucalyptus oil, flea-bombed and quarantined for a month. If there are still bugs in it, I guess they've earned the right to live.
Freya thinks she may have enough money in her piggy bank to buy a car when they get to England.
I hope Rachel's feet take her somewhere ridiculously happy. And maybe, one day, even back here.
Until then, tchau, Chapeuzinho Vermelho! Boa viagem! Thanks for the occasional afternoon teas, the many hugs, the walks and the memories :) x