The children playing in Llaggerub are essential to Dylan’s soundscape. Play is an essential part of growing up. A baby soon learns that when a parent hides behind the end of the cot they have not left her bereft – peep-bo! We jog on an adult’s knee, safe and sound when the bumps get scarily higher. When we graduate to the garden swing our parents get scared. Here’s Thérèse:
This is what maman wrote about me when I was scarcely eighteen months old. ‘Your father has just put up a swing. Céline is taken with an incomparable joy, but you should see the little one (Thérèse) balancing. It is so funny! She holds herself like a big girl; there is no danger of her letting go of the rope, and if the swing is not going hard enough, she shouts. We use another rope around her front to keep her on, yet I am still not calm when I see her perched up there.’
At the end of her letter Thérèse’s mother says: I thank the Good God that nothing has happened to her .., her good Angel has been taking care of her, and the souls in Purgatory, to whom I pray every day, have protected her.
And so, the parents of Céline and Thérèse are to be canonised during the family synod. Well, thank God, and may it be an encouragement for parents who worry about how hard to push the swings and roundabouts their children must ride. And may we all enjoy the sound of children playing, and their presence in Church.