Now I know how those parents working long hours and concentrating single-mindedly on their careers in fancy international firms feel like. After a couple of weeks in Sweden I was heading for home for a brief visit and felt I have to bring a present. I saw this marvellous red knight’s shirt with a golden lion and silvery netting across the sleeves. I could have bought something simpler – like a T-shirt from Gamla Stan, but I wanted to buy something special, something that shows that I care, even if I am away for weeks in one go.
Suddenly I realised that I was trying to give some shiny wonderful thing in lieu of my presence and buy myself a better conscious. And I felt really guilty. However, the guilt was replaced by disappointment when Number One Son showed zero interest to the shiny wonderful thing I thought he would love because of his interest in castles and knights and dragons. But no. And otherwise the reception of mummy back home could be called somewhat lukewarm. At least it was less dramatic than I had imagined. No tears, no shouts nor cries. Just a couple of hugs. He may survive.