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Archive for March, 2016

six years later…

…David Bowie (who sadly left us in January) wrote the brilliant “5 Years”, but as I write these words (and as the title might already have suggested) to has been six years since I last put digital pen to digital paper.

A lot has changed, not in the ‘earth-shattering trans-continental-move’ sort of way, no, more in the small, quiet, self-seemingly-profound but probably very boring and narcissistic sort of way.

The boy is now a man, and the man is 23. He has a big beard. He is about to finish college finally, after a lost 14 months where he likely learnt more about life and how it works for him than any classroom could ever have shoved down his hirsute neck. He coaches soccer too, regularly, and has developed quite a skill-set in terms of developing the younger players. It’s a funny thing the relationship between a father and son at 49 and 23. I love him tremendously, but however much Le Labo fragrance I buy, however much I dwell on emotional well-being, I still find it harder than I should to hug him a lot, and he the same with me. Must be a guy thing, I ponder, but I don’t know. Is it? I make sure I do hug him whenever I see him, but it is a male hug, a slapping of the back as if the gesture must be accompanied with some sort of painful after-touch. But we see a lot of each other, given that he is 23 and could just easily pretend he didn’t get my phone calls in time, or that his battery had given out when I sent a text. No, it’s great. We speak, and hang out, a lot more than my Dad and I did at 23…there again, he hasn’t moved a continent away, it is easier to remain in close touch.

The girl is now 10 1/2 going on 11. She has gone through full puberty. She is no longer my ‘little girl’ and is barely my ‘girl’ more than is now a ‘pre-teen’ a couple of years ahead of schedule it feels like. Must’ve been all the chicken? I mean, I always bought the chicken which supposedly died ‘nicely’, having spent a life with it’s feathers gently swishing in the wind to Hall & Oates or The Eagles, you know, the ones not shot up with antibiotics and extra hormones, but who knows what’s in the air we breathe anyway, and they all seem to be developing quicker, whether it’s girls and their physicality or boys and their voices quavering awkwardly.

She is an electric wire of perpetual thought and motion, sometimes unfeasibly hard on herself, excited by dance and singing and baseball and soccer. She has an appetite for life, and it has one for her, so the two do a merry dance every single day, and from it comes a frothy explosion of hopes, dreams and fears. Switch off? Chill. Out. Moto? Not a bit of it, in fact when she does have a 10 minute quiet spell, you have to be sure not to check in and ask her if she is alright!

We started going to baseball, the SF Giants, a few years ago. A journey just like with my son. She was 7 when she got hooked, and so we bought in on a season ticket packet. She saw a crappy season, but then she saw a World Series winning season, and thanks to some folks I work with, we even got on one of the victory floats. She also dragged me back into coaching soccer, something I was reluctant to do at first but which I fell head-first for again like a child myself. The result has been a sudden love for Tottenham (!!!) and myself, her brother and her all going to the San Jose Earthquakes regularly. Wonderful. Her Mum, she and I have been to Europe (Prague, Vienna, Budapest, London) and a wolf sanctuary in the Mohave Desert because OF COURSE she loves wolves. She is a whirlwind and I have to say, my ‘father’ skills are sometimes tested by the estrogen-bursts, the pre-teen anxieties…I find myself ‘zen-cookie-ing’ her, which is to say, delivering these supposedly profound zen statements which are more suited to the rase-side of a shite fortune cookie. But I think it’s profoundly helpful, and she seems to either agree or just want me to shut-up.

Zen? Well, yeah…I’ve gone there…sort of…nearly 50, but it took a dog coming into my life for the penny to drop. Tilly is my dog, yeah, I’m punning and I don’t care because she is all that and more. Every ember of her hairy, whiffy soul touches a deeply personal button in me, centers me, calms me and reminds me that when we are on our deathbeds, when the moment of last breath is near, we won’t remember the emails we didn’t send or the wankers we didn’t argue about a project shape with for the 9th time. No, we will remember a shared game, or a funny family exchange, or a walk on the beach with the dog or an extra huggie squeezed from the furry philanthropist as she selflessly allows herself to be hugged and sniffed for 20 minutes whilst I doze…

 

Maybe I’ll be back soon, maybe my time of writing to express, to empathize, to try and muddle through it all, has come to an end.

We shall see,

But I signed in and saw it had ben 6 years, and for the few of you who had followed this column, I thought you deserved an update…

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