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Living with Luke 70

August 7, 2016

70…70 bloody blogs…70…sorry, I’m just digesting that number.  I get like this with every milestone that I reach, only because I can never accept that I’m still writing these and that they are still be read all over the world, (Bolivia, anybody?) but they are and I am. Onwards…

I wrote in my last blog, that I feel that I am a failure as a father to Tiddles. I had a number of responses to that, all of which were welcomed and accepted and whilst they didn’t change my perception of the relationship that we have – evidence of which has been painfully present in the last few weeks – it made me think about what it is that we actually DO have.  

It’s hard to define what we have these days, but only because it isn’t a normal relationship. But then, what is a ‘normal’ relationship between a late 40’s father and his 17 going on 18 year old son? 

If it’s anything like most stereotypical relationships, then he will be moody (check), spend a lot of time in his room (check), eat a lot (check), hardly talk to me (check), walk around with his headphones on (check) and want things bought for him (check). So, in effect, I have what could be deemed as a perfectly normal father/son relationship! 

So why isn’t that enough for me? I dont know. Most dad’s would probably be happy with that, but for me, its not enough. I think i feel cheated. It’s what prompted the last blog and certainly what inspired the blogs to be written in the first place, that sense of having lost something. 

And then I saw a video on the Facebook posted by a friend and featuring J K Rowling, who was talking about failure. Without failure, she would never have written some book about a child wizard or something, because she never would’ve reached the point of having nothing to lose. And whilst our situations are very different, the message is the same. I wrote last time about being a failure, at least in my eyes. BUT, I can also see that there is the possibility of success, however small those successes may be.

And I think that’s the important thing. I have many thoughts, ideas, projects that I want to pursue and try out, and I really don’t have anything to lose now, do I? I may not have the relationship that I want from Tiddles, but it is a relationship all the same. He may not like me, in fact I am convinced he doesn’t,  but every now and again, there is the odd flash of what could’ve been. That bridge, however fragile, reaches across from Narnia and he dashes over, gives me the briefest of hopes, before he dashes back and collapses the bridge.

But it is a hope. And it’s something to hold onto. The flickering of a candle at the end of a long dark tunnel. It’s there, but you really have to look for it and keep it in view, or it’ll be snuffed out. So, although I feel I have failed, I also feel that there is hope. Things may never improve between us, or may never get back to what we had before, but there is that candle, right there. 

And I can either stay where I am, or I can try and move towards it. It may, just may, be closer than I think. But I won’t know, if I don’t keep trying to get there. I’m going to lose sight of it now and again, but so long as I keep getting these little flashes of inspiration and hope, then I’ll have something to guide me towards my Quiet Prince.

I’ve got nothing to lose now, have I?


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  1. clare permalink

    Well, we saw the play at the rhodes. It was brilliant. .. we only get the occasional grunt out of our hormonal (still!) 20yr old son who definately wouldn’t be seen dead with his father. I think we saw you in the swimming pool the other day, at least I’m pretty sure it was you! Was nice to see the real Luke, looked like you were having an ok day.

    • Always come and say hello, Clare. It’s nice to speak to people who have seen the play and read the blogs. If it was in the pool, then that boy was probably James, who is another autistic boy that I take swimming once a week as his carer. Luke rarely goes swimming with me these days, sadly!

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