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We’ve been searching for the gold crayon for an hour, and I really want a glass of wine.
I’ve emptied the entire contents of the toybox onto the floor and pulled out the sofa, leaving a line of fluff which my own mum used to call dust bunnies trailing across the laminate. Finn sits on the floor and stares discontentedly at me as I grit my teeth and suggest using another colour instead.
Of course no other colour is acceptable and only gold will do for the stars. I want to scream, to tell him that the sky does not need to be black and the stars do not need to be etched with the luridly bright yellow crayon which he calls gold, but colours are fixed for Finn. In a world in crisis where everything is uncertain, unstable, the night sky is reassuringly constant. Each night we tumble outside onto the pavement, me carrying Finn in his pyjamas to say goodnight to the stars and blow kisses to the moon with the small, sticky hands which still reach for mine at every opportunity. On cloudy nights he cries, real sobs which shake his body until I lie next to him in his tiny cot bed, scrolling through photos of the stars taken on nights when there was nothing to obscure our view. Sometimes he falls asleep clutching my phone, pressing the stars to his face. On these nights I have to wait until his breathing is steady and then prise my phone away, holding my breath as I try to work it free from its position under his damp cheek
I take deep breaths. Count to ten, the way they tell you to in the leaflets pressed into my hands at the end of each appointment. Appointments where the consultant used a rainbow-coloured spiral diagram to explain what I already knew, that Finn would always see the world differently to me. Arranging a bright smile on my face, I continue my search, promising that we will find the crayon, so that my child can draw the stars as they shine for him.