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"Alexis, look at me," I said, taking a photo as she beamed up at me. Her little feet were rapidly moving to keep herself balanced on the ice.

"I'm skating, dad!"

"I know, you're a superstar,"

"Can you skate with me?"

"Come on then,"

I pushed her off and skated beside her, mum the other side. If Mali was here it would be perfect.

"Dad! I'm doing it,"

"You are," I chuckled, "good girl,"

I took mum's hand and she gave me the warmest smile I'd seen on her face for years. It was beautiful.

Eventually, it was time to get off the ice, and I put Alexis' pink ballet pumps back on her little feet, and took her gloves off because off the ice, it was warm.

"Dad, that was fun,"

"Yeah? We'll have to come next year," I said, picking her up, "you have good balance,"

"You'd be a good gymnast,"

"Grandma, I'm doing dance and singing,"

"Well, actually, uncle Ashton and uncle Luke are kindly paying so that you can go to gymnastics too,"


"You'll have to help me bake them some cookies as a thankyou,"

She kissed my cheek before I put her in the car, busying herself with a book. It concerned me a little how she still couldn't understand the alphabet yet, nevermind simple words like up, or it.

Perhaps she was just slower.

When we got back to mum's, she started to make tea and made me have a shower and relax. Alexis sat on our bed and waited, then tackled me into a hug when I was out.

"Hello," I chuckled, "what have you been up to?"

"Texting Luke,"

"You what?"

"Well I spoke, and Luke texted on your phone,"

I took it and looked, seeing a couple of messages from Luke.

"Well, did you have a good conversation?"

"We did! I love him,"

"You can tell him tomorrow,"

"Dad, when can we go home?"

"How about tomorrow?"

"Can we see mummy on the way?"

"I'll think about it. It caused you a lot of sadness last time though,"

"Can we drive past so I can wave?"

"I think we can do that, yes,"

"I start school on Monday,"

"I know love, I know. Are you excited?"

"Yes! Sadie and Ethan will play with me,"

"We'll have to invite them over!"

She squealed and kicked her legs, cuddling one of the toys I had taken out the car.

"Dad, does my dancing start tomorrow?"

"I thought it was next week,"

"But I thought it was tomorrow,"

"Well if it's tomorrow we'll have to find you some nice clothes to wear!"

"I hope it's tomorrow,"

"I'll look,"

"Can I learn the bass?"

"When you're bigger, I said didn't I?"

"Where is my tiger toy?"

"On the bed love, right here,"

"Okay. You got me that,"

"I did, because it was mummy's favourite animal,"

I kissed her head and searched up the dance times, seeing I was right.

"It's not dance until next week munchkin,"


"You still have gymnastics,"

"I wanted dance," she cried, balling her fists up and rubbing her eyes; I rubbed her back soothingly.

"You can go next week love, but no one would be there tomorrow,"

"Dad, I'm sad,"

"I know princess, but you get to go next week,"

She nodded and sniffed, resting against my chest. She started to twist my shirt in her hands, and I took it instead, putting my phone down to cuddle her.

"What's all this about?" Mum exclaimed, coming in with a tray of drinks and biscuits, "here you are,"

She handed Alexis her cup and let her choose a biscuit, then handed me a coffee and a biscuit.

"I'm just sad because I thought my dancing was tomorrow,"

"Oh well. Are you going back home tomorrow?"

"I think we might do, we're feeling a lot better,"

"But grandma!"

"Grandma has lots of things to do!"

"No dad, I am staying,"

"Well I am going back home to see uncle Mikey and put up the paddling pool,"

"Paddling pool!" she exclaimed.

"Yep. The ice rink was kept super cold, but its actually very hot! I thought you might want a swim,"

"Well now how do I choose?"

"Go home sweetheart, I'll see you another time," mum said, "I'm always here,"

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