a neighbour asked me.
Ms Whirlwind is doing a hospital visit today. A friend of hers has had surgery. It was "touch and go" for a while and Ms W has been worried about her friend. All the reassurance in the world did not help while her friend was in the various stages of not being able to have visitors apart from her parents.
A couple of days ago though the mother, knowing that Ms W was anxious and missing her friend finally phoned me and said,
"A's ready for a short visit if it can be arranged."
This involves a trip into the city and up the hill to the Women and Children's Hospital.
I discussed it with Ms W's father. We agreed that not only should she be allowed to go but that she should be trusted to go. So I said to Ms W, "A's Mum rang me. She says A is ready for a short visit. How would you like to come in with me when I go to the dentist on Wednesday and then you can go up to the hospital while I'm there?"
"Yes. A's Mum will meet you there but you can get there by yourself."
She thought about this for a moment and then said, "I need to take her something."
"Fine," I told her. So she wasn't worried about going there.
No. We planned the trip. She will go on the train with me. She can see the cathedral from the corner. Walk up to that and cross the road to the hospital. Someone there will show her where to find the right place. When she has stayed "just ten minutes" she can walk back down the hill and stay with her father's secretary until I am finished at the dentist.
She's thirteen. She should be able to do this. But the neighbour was clearly worried. She "wouldn't let a thirteen year old do that alone".
Well, her father will. I will. We trust her. This is the middle of the morning. There will be people around, probably quite a lot of children because it is school holidays.
Yesterday Ms W showed me what she planned to take. She had talked to a few more friends. They had put some money together and bought "a proper grown up sort of colouring book - the garden one because she liked it when we saw it in the shop - and some pencils and a sharpener AND something to put the pencil bits in when she sharpens them". The last was said with great emphasis.
I am not in the least bit bothered about her heading off this morning. If she can think about somewhere to put pencil shavings in those circumstances I think she is pretty responsible and reliable right round. I trust her.