I've taken some time off over the last few weeks to play with (wrangle and umpire) the kids, and enjoy Easter as much as was possible, and also because we had Elspeth's Inquest, and coming back to the laptop has proven harder than I suspected it would.
We knew the Inquest wouldn't be a picnic day out for the family, and I was expecting re-hearing details and statements would be hard. As it turns out it's finding out the things you didn't already know that is hardest. It gives you more to mull over, more to consider, more ways to feel you should have protected her more. More chance to remember those comments she made and wonder if you didn't take them seriously enough. More sad.
What was also really hard was knowing Elspeth would have hated the Inquest. She'd have hated everyone talking about her and prying into her world. It felt so intrusive and rude. Elspeth wanted to be allowed privacy when she was alive, and we gave it to her wherever we could, so reading her private letters, messages and conversations now feels like betrayal. Reading her diary is just plain wrong. What kind of parent does that?
Today is also the day that we were finally given back Elspeth's belongings which the Police took on the morning she died. We didn't really know even what they had, we had signed the release form, but it was all a blur that day. It's been very strange thinking that the Police had her diary and notebook all of this time, her computer and phone, her things. Searching for a 'why?'.
Easter was nice. We made up treasure hunt clues for all of the children and sent them off around the house finding their egg and some chocolate lollipops shaped like rabbits. I'm not sure exactly when The Easter Bunny arrived in the UK, but it seems it was sometime between our older children being small and 2010, because after the hunt our 6 year old asked when we'd have the real egg hunt. Never mind that we'd just spent 2 hours crafting word searches, puzzles and 3-2-1 style clues in an array of difficulties suitable for young people aged 5-21, what he actually wanted was for me to stand by the back door and lob a handful of foil-wrapped not-quite-chocolate eggs onto the grass like last year. Sheesh....
Here are some smiles I've collected this month...including lots of dressing up! Plenty from our youngest family member who had his 5th birthday and celebrated in style with a trip to the Legoland Discovery Centre and the Sea Life Centre, and a Minion-themed birthday party, and the costumes for this Saturday's DC Comics and Toys R Us 'World Record for the most people dressed as DC Comics Superheroes in the world at one time' attempt.....should be a laugh and anyone can join in (details are here).