Living with Luke 43
Whenever I write these posts I always seem to have a song going round in my head that somehow links to Tiddles. At the moment, it’s ‘Feather’ by the brilliant Devin Townsend, which I used in a flipagram video a few months back – please check it out, because it is a wonderful and very beautiful song! It contains the lines,
And all I ever think about is you,
It’s only father feathers.
It’s only feathers.
They say heaven was in tune, your point of view,
I try to see your point of view
The truth is of course that although he is on my mind all the time, I don’t actually think about him all the time, because it would be impossible to and that is a horrible thing to admit, I know.
I’m not Jesus Christ, I’ve come to accept that now.
As a result, I will sometimes miss things that he does. I’m as guilty as anybody of taking what Tiddles does for granted, even when I don’t intend to. I wish that I was a 100% perfect father but I’m not, no father is or can be. But being a sado-masochistic self hater, it doesn’t stop me beating myself up – mentally, I hasten to add. I let others beat me up physically. It’s called ‘Foot-Ball’…or sometimes it’s called Living with Luke…
At our rehearsal for the play the other night, I came up with a line regarding one of the scenes, which was that “Nobody can see a shadow in the dark…” Sensing potential ridicule I shot it down with the follow-up line, “And that’s how Cod Philosophy was born…” See, I didn’t want anybody to think I was being pretentious, (‘Prententious? Moi?’) so I did what I always do and got in first to prevent being mocked for being so. I’m a master of the self-deprecating put down. I don’t let others abuse me when I am so good at going home and abusing myself…(pause for laugh).
But it’s very easy to let others see you as the victim in all of this. I’m not the victim, I’m the consequence, maybe even the cause. Tiddles’ condition is genetic, it’s got to come from somewhere. But apportioning blame is not the game here. The game is document our relationship as Father and Son, Tiddles and The Old Man, Luke and Daddy.
We seem to have reached an silent agreement with our relationship at this moment in time. He loathes the sight of me when I walk in or say anything to him, then relents and allows me to give him a cuddle. It’s almost an automatic response now, one that I am getting used to. He’s more – how can I put it? – cuddlier. He’s getting taller by the week however. My ‘little’ boy is disappearing slowly. And that is bloody sad, at least for me. I absolutely hate it, mainly because he seems to have done it all of a sudden. But then I guess it’s something all parents experience as their child gets older. It doesn’t make the sense of loss any easier though only because to me, I haven’t had the relationship others have had with their children, that my parents had with me and that I was lucky to have had with The Eldest Child.
It hurts. It hurts a lot, because the days of his childhood have disappeared.
But these days he’s more likely to sit with me and put his arm around me, or do his version of tickling, which is actually more like scratching my belly, but I laugh anyway because it’s his idea of contact. So far, that’s as far as we have got. To be honest, I really don’t know what I am expecting, I probably never will do, so I’ll just take the allowances where they come.
It’s a sad but true fact that Tiddles and I will grow old together, just from afar. Always together, but always apart.