What a snarly angry little so and so she'd been, getting in the car was a fight, demanding and pushing. Rolling her eyes and silently but openly back chatting when I asked if she'd got her stuff. She was worried that we'd be late and it spilled into the place that all emotions go, angry. The snarly angry so and so. When we turned back to collect the thing that she'd forgot it was my fault and that she'd forgotten it and my fault we had to back. Snarly angry so and so.
We went and I watched. Enjoying the sun I chatted to one of the other parents. It was nice to be with grown ups and talk about grown up stuff, politics and politicians with the sounds of half a dozen girls enjoying a summer evening. As the sun slowly fell the shadows grew and the light turned golden. None of the parents seemed to mind as the training ran over. We don't get many warm evenings at training so we were enjoying it.
On the way home we hit the sweet spot, photographers call it the golden hour. The dying sun's golden gaze streamed through the windscreen and hit her face and she smiled at me. Unusually, we were both happy with the music on the radio and we turned it up, way past reasonable.
The golden sun kept streaming and she kept smiling. We talked easily about this and that, no purpose just enjoying the 'easy' bit, no tension and no snarl. A ten minute drive but that smile and that sun drenched the memory of the snarling and more, it desolved the snarling that would inevitably come again.
As we drew into the drive I reminded her to take in her water bottle and her pack lunch box that she'd left in the car earlier that day. The smile reversed and the inevitable returned, but one smile seems to dissolve a hundred snarls.
This morning I woke early and I checked the news before I headed out to catch my 6am train. I was glad that smile still had some power left in it.