Ever since my daughter was born, she has stared into space, focused on something invisible. Now that she’s a bit older, she smiles and coos at something only she can see. She could be crazy – considering her gene pool, that wouldn’t be too much of a surprise. (Grampa runs long-distance marathons for fun, Nanna’s alter ego is Pastor Poppie of Stuff, her three uncles switch accents throughout the day, Mommy has several characters in her head at any given time and Daddy gets paid to be someone else.) Or – and this is the option I’m going with – she sees angels.
In P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, the twins John and Barbara are able to converse quite happily with the birds that visit their windowsill. But after their first birthday, they lose that ability and their babbles and coos are just that – babbles and coos. So if they can talk to birds, why can’t Angelique talk to angels?
Angelique’s bedtime routine includes a prayer just before we kiss her goodnight and put her in her cot. In the prayer we ask God to surround her with His angels, and I like to imagine four of them standing sentry at each corner of her cot, their wings outstretched to cover her as she sleeps. I hope that when she gets old enough to understand, she will also picture her angels watching over her as she sleeps.
In the meantime, I am certain that she keeps them entertained during the day, cooing at them during nappy changes, laughing for no reason at all, and interrupting feeds to smile at a point above my head. I hope she sees angels for as long as possible.