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Living with Luke 71

October 6, 2016

I tell Tiddles that I love him every night. Every night I tell him,

‘Goodnight, love you, sleep well, sweet dreams, see you in the morning.’

I also tell The Eldest Child the same thing and TCMH, but they can acknowledge it for what it is. A declaration, a promise, a wish. 

Tiddles is a different story. When I tell him, it’s really just words to him, just noise. Something to be listened to whilst trying to watch his iPod. Something to put up with. Something else that he endures. 

But, every now and then, I see it. A little flash, almost a spark of…something. It is usually in the briefest of brief glances my way, and it’s almost a struggle for him to know just what it is he’s supposed to do. You can almost see the momentary confusion on his beautiful face as he hears the words, knows that he will repeat it back, but somehow aware that there is something more there. But he’s not sure what it is. All of that in a microsecond. 

And I think it’s because that just recently there has been a change in him. He’s two weeks away from his 18th birthday and it’s almost as if he is edging into another phase of his life. Unsure of these new feelings he now may be experiencing, it’s like he has taken a step back (in a good way) to think about what’s going on in his life and I seriously feel that he has suddenly become a bit more aware of his surroundings, his family and of me. 

He still shouts and gets upset, he still hates it when his mum goes out…


There is definitely something going on in Narnia. I sincerely, truly hope that he can hold onto that magical state that, if we’re honest, we would all dearly live in given half a chance. But I also hope (quietly) that the bridges between our two worlds are becoming stronger? 

As with everything, I can only take it a day at a time, and sometimes I don’t even have that luxury. But I’ll take what’s on offer right now, because I’m hoping that it will last. I’ll always tell him everyday that I love him, that he sleeps peacefully, that I hope his dreams will be glorious and that I’ll be there in the morning. 

And maybe that message is finally getting through to my Quiet Prince. 


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  1. Alli permalink

    Becoming a bloke.
    Our silent 19yr old plays Dolly Partons song “The Day I Fall In Love” every day.
    Handsome young men, dreams shattered.
    He stares at the love between Rosie & Jim,
    Lady & The Tramp, Belle &The Beast, those are his dreams.

  2. Andy Seal permalink

    Steve, I have finally caught up with your current blog. We met last week after I came to your play in Telford. Since then I have read from number 1 to 71 wanting to comment several times but needing to catch up before I do so. Firstly, I would like to repeat my thanks to you for releasing your story and inner most thoughts. I know it is difficult for you to write about these feelings, that is why we, the readers, are so moved to tears so frequently. It is so rare for the father’s story to be told never mind heard. Please keep touring with the play and spreading the word.
    Secondly I want to echo the comments of your other readers. We all have autistic kids who each have so many traits in common with your Luke. We all exercise patience and devote ourselves to being whatever we can for our beautiful ‘lost’ children. (My Luke still needs me to sing him the same lullaby that I have been singing for 19 years now).
    But you, Steve Hannam, you are a very special dad. You have had to take so much more than any dad should have to take and it is a credit to your resolve and your inner strength that you remain strong and defiant in the face of all this frustration and crucially you are there for Luke if and when he does find his way back across that bridge.
    You should never feel that you have failed your son. Seriously, there is no more that you can realistically do other than to be there for him, ready and waiting, to welcome him home should the glorious day dawn. It may be in years to come. It may be in another lifetime. You will be there Steve and you will deserve the outpouring of love and tears on that day.
    May your god go with you.

    • Andy, I read this last night, out loud to TCMH. I have spent the last half a day trying to come up with a suitable reply, and in short, I’ve failed. I’m still gobsmacked about the fact that you have taken the time to write such an amazing comment, and so all I can say is thank you. Thanks for coming to see the play, for taking the time to introduce yourself to me/us, for reading all of the blogs and then responding as you have. You are the people I write these for. Cheers and I hope we meet again someday.

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