What did you do last night?
I first met Wesley when he was in the womb.
His mother was a waitress in a restaurant we used to go to. His father absent.
I was also pregnant. Lynne and I became friends.
Around the age of two Wesley was with us nearly daily. He grew up alongside my own first born child, Felix. They went to their first school together. On a neighboring island. An early morning boat ride across the bay, arms around each other, spotting dolphins.
Fifteen years later not much has changed. Just the other day we crossed the same bay, saw a new generation of dolphins and the boys still had their arms around each other.
Yet so much has changed. For Wesley.
In April his mother died. Lost her fight against cancer after a long and painful journey. The Bahamas is not a country where you want to suffer breast cancer. But The Bahamas is a country where I would want to be buried.
The funeral was held in the Church Lynne attended. A pink church, set high on the hill, with a startling view down to the bay, through gently swaying palm trees.
The priest read his sermon from his i-pad. Wesley's Aunt's howled and flung them selves on their dead sister's coffin. Wesley sat unmoving, unblinking in his new shiny suit and dark glasses. Cool as a cat.
The gospel band played and we danced and clapped our way down the street, to the graveyard. A stream of black. Hot under the Caribbean sun.
As the coffin was lowered into the ground Wesley broke. He fell crumpled to the ground screaming. His heart breaking.
Very quickly it was decided that Wesley would move in with us. He arrived the next afternoon with a plastic bin liner. It held his worldly possessions. None of them important, except for the few tattered photographs of his Mum.
The weeks that followed were very dark. Wesley was very lost. At night he would sob, silently. I would hold him tightly. Neither of us able to speak. What was there to say? The God he worshiped had let him down.
He returned to school, miserable and confused.
One morning, in class, he had an accident. Only then did I begin to understand how angry he was at life.
And Life is not simple and this is no fairy tale. We don't know the ending.
I am careful with my own children. I speak to them a lot about Wesley becoming a part of our family. It is an open dialogue.
But I feel blessed and honored that Wesley has chosen us. And although he went through a period of calling me "Mummy" we know I never will be. All I can be, is there for him.
More recently it became apparent that Wesley's crippling dyslexia needed a specialized form of teaching. He now receives this in Miami. Staying with his Aunt during school weeks. We share joint guardianship. His Bahamian Aunt and I, trying to keep the ship on course.
Wesley has spent many Christmases with us in the past. He was with us at the birth of my fourth child. He comes to England with us in the summers and this year his stocking will hang on our chimney and his name is printed proudly on our Christmas card, alongside those of my children. Felix, Amory, Conrad, Domino and Wesley.
Domino is four. FOUR. Its definitely time for another baby............ And those little dots represent the silence I got from David the other night when I suggested as much. Simply silence. No reaction what so ever. Nothing, nada, zilch. Crickets. Just the sound of crickets.
The past few years Domino has suffered fourth child-i-tis when it came to her birthday parties. A last minute dash, to blow up a few slightly out of date balloons. Not this year.
The night before her birthday my friend, Jay Jay, Prince of Dunmore (that famous Principality) sent me roses. Lots of them. I think they were an early Christmas present. Quick as a flash they were added to the birthday table, along with very home made cupcakes, cucumber sandwiches, Crabtree & Evelyn candles and 26 wild kids.
My mother, staying with us, came over to view the proceedings "Well honestly" she said "Its ridiculous.This could be the child's 18th birthday. And look those extravagant roses"
That is my chap. In the front. Of course, why else would I post this?
He scored a try and won the match, or is it he tried a score? What ever it is he won them the match. And those odd things clamped between their teeth are mouth guards. They wear those to stop their teeth being kicked out. Yes, our 8 year's old play a game where their teeth can be kicked out.
After the match I counted all of Conrad's teeth. Just to be sure. And then I smothered him in kisses.
Sugar Mill by India Hicks
I was given a book from the Pierre Berge/Yves Saint Laurent foundation. David Hockney: Fluers Fraiches.
Drawings by his use of innovative technology (the below has been drawn on an i-pad) Reaffirming his unique position in the contemporary art scene. Hockney says the i-phone and i-pad were not only new medium's but that they contain everything you need. No mess. You didn't even need to clean up.
Are you reading this Domino?
I was in England when this article came out. Rather pleased with myself I emailed it to David in the Bahamas. His only response was to the image of me in the Viyella leather skirt and white silk shirt "Miss. Hicks please come in and take some dictation"
Deflated I showed my mother "Whatever is that odd thing climbing up your arm?" She asked, when we got to the page of my silver and diamond star fish cuff.
A few days later I discovered Domino had taken a large crayon and scribbled over our pages.
I am just waiting for the dachshund to piss on it.