Wednesday, November 11

Lunch And A Mistake

I take Madeleine from school for lunch, where we stare at each other over pizza, her favorite dish. Hers: pepperoni, of course.  It is hard work getting inside the head of a seven-year-old and I find myself leading many fits and starts. How is school? Fine. Do you like your teacher? She's Ok. What's your favorite subject? Art. Why? I don't know. And so on and so forth.  Being with her fills my heart with joy.

Gordon Brown has taken a hard one this week from grieving mother Jacqui Janes whose son Jamie, a professional soldier, died in Afghanistan. Brown sent Janes his condolences and mis-spelled Janes' name - or at least it appears that way in the letter posted by The Sun who gleefully reports the outrage. Brown (who also lost a child - his ten-year-old daughter Jennifer to a brain haemorrhage) mortified, calls Janes to apologies and lambasted by her for inadequate helicopter support that, she shrills, caused her son's death. The Sun releases the conversation (Janes denies being wired, but she is a liar).  In the US, Cindy Sheehan effectively used her son's death to galvanise anti-war protests.  I have every sympathy for Jacqui Janes (and Cindy Sheehan) but I have no tolerance for her public attack on Brown for attempting to provide comfort .. Brown's letter may be filled with errors, but it is lengthy, hand-written and seems genuine.  Janes and The Sun turning this into a media event is tacky.  Or worse.  Jamie's death should be honoured with dignity and respect.  

"He didn't sound apologetic in the phone call. He didn't actually apologise. He said sorry a lot, sorry that I didn't understand his writing, sorry about all that. Today he looked sincere. He looked humbled. He is now going to get a record of my son's death, of the day's events. I hope that he has the sleepless nights I have had for the past five weeks because my son sustained horrific injuries."
--Jacqui Janes

Me: "How was your morning?"
Madeleine: "Good."
Me: "Use more than one word."
Madeleine: "Really good."

Me (before dinner): "How was your day?"
Eitan: "Good."
Me: "Use more than one word please."
Eitan: "Rea.."
Me: "And don't you dare say 'really good.'"