It goes without saying that you’d move heaven and Earth to reach your kids.
And some days, as you tackle the nursery run, it can feel like you are doing just that.
This week, as Storm Ciara battered Britain, the rivers in York flooded, leaving our usual shortcut over a busy footbridge virtually impassable.
Baby Bookworm was on his bike, his little brother had just dropped off to sleep in the buggy and there was a light dusting of snow starting to fall.
As I cursed our lack of wellies, a kind dad carried a bemused BB over the slither of muddy grass still visible and then we had to go the long way round in a biting wind.
“I’m cold, Mummy!” wailed the boy as he raced along on his balance bike.
“It’s an adventure!” I told him as cheerily as I could muster. “It’s like Daddy Long Legs trying to reach Matty, isn’t it?”
Daddy Long Legs has been a favourite read in our house for some time and whenever I reference it on social media, I get lots of other people telling me how much they adore the book too.
I think it’s the combination of a relatable and universal subject matter – a parent’s fierce and limitless love for their child – and the way this is demonstrated with gentle humour and imaginative metaphors.
In the book, fretful Matty is worried how his father will collect him from nursery if the old green car (an old school Citroen 2CV) doesn’t start. So his devoted daddy details all the weird and wonderful ways he’ll reach him if that happens.
This involves driving tractors across fields, riding a teddy bear, being flown by a flock of birds, commandeering a fire breathing dragon and growing some seriously long legs. Talk about setting the bar high for the rest of us!
What I love about this book – aside from the gorgeously French illustrations in a bold colour palette – is how the depth of a dad’s devotion is conveyed in a way that children can clearly understand.
It’s ever so gentle and reassuring, but lots of fun too – and extremely touching at the end when Matty’s dad tells him, should everything else go wrong: “I will simply take to my own two feet and run. Because my legs will never be too tired to come and get you.”
In those two simple sentences, you get to the heart of how precious his little boy is to him.
I may be totally exhausted and facing an uphill battle – but I’ll never let a broken down car, or a flooded River Ouse, stop me from getting to you.
Daddy Long Legs by Nadine Brun-Cosme and Aurelie Guillerey. £6.99 (paperback), Two Hoots. Available from Amazon
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