Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Monday, June 17, 2013
|Love is... a household appliance?|
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
You know that thing people always say if they haven’t seen your baby for a while? “Oh my god, he’s changed soooo much”?
And you think: “really? I hadn’t noticed.” Because you haven’t, because it’s tough trying to keep track of the continual, gradual changes occurring in your offspring. But then, because it’s been pointed out, you do notice, and you spend a little while thinking about how the baby used to be?
Last weekend I spent an evening with a person who I hadn’t seen in eight years. Eight years! That’s more than a quarter of my whole life. Ages. Too long, actually, because the person in question is a great person to spend time with. Interesting, intelligent and amusing. The downside is he lives in America, and I can’t just pop to Seattle to meet him for a pint and a chat.
*shakes fist at the Atlantic*
The one thing an eight year gap does do though is provide a good opportunity to look back over what’s happened during that time. Which, aided by a few alcoholic beverages, was exactly what me, him and a few other people I went to school with but no longer see much of did. Just like the parent who doesn’t see the changes in their child, the evening made me realise that I don’t do a great job of seeing and appreciating the scale of the changes in my own life.
When my friend was last in the UK he spent a few nights at my house. Except it wasn’t. I still lived at home. We spent evenings drinking (far too much, probably) with some mutual friends, including my wife. Only she wasn’t my wife. She wasn’t even officially my girlfriend. I probably complained to him about the job I was made redundant from over two years ago. This time I told him I don’t like the job I have now. I was still too busy acting like a child to give much thought to having one of my own, now I can barely remember what my life was like without Cam.
We talked about him, we talked about me, we talked about the other people at the table and we talked about the many people who couldn’t be there. We talked about what they were doing, where they lived, which of them had kids and how many. We reminisced about the last time he’d been with us, and we reminisced about reminiscing about the time before, a further eight years back.
He has swapped playing in bands, working as a chef and all night drinking for climbing mountains, teaching others to climb mountains and training to be a teacher for children with special needs. I have a wife and child.
No matter how much our lives might change over time, no matter that we might not always be paying a suitable amount of attention to what’s different, we stay the same person. Just like the baby who hasn’t been seen for a few weeks.
Someone even managed a bit of beer fuelled insight toward the end of the evening: “none of us have changed, really. We’ve just grown beards.”
It was great to see you Dan, I hope you’re right that it won’t be another eight years before we see you again.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Babies are always changing, developing, growing. Much like a Terminator, they are a learning computer, taking their experience of the world and using it to become a more efficient killer.
Wait, that doesn’t sound quite right. Killer? Sorry, wrong consonant in the middle there.
Kisser. That’s what I meant.
Cam’s been learning to express his affection, via the medium of kissing. Aww.
He may be a bit behind the curve on this one, I’m not sure. Certainly his younger cousin has been dishing out the sloppy lip smacks for a while already. Cam’s been holding back though, waiting for right moment.
Actually, that’s only half true. For a while now he’s been more than happy to engage in a bit of one way snogging action with various inanimate objects.
The squidgy bellied pig in his farmyard book? Irresistible. Naturally I assumed he had simply realised the appeal of bacon.
Big Ted, his aptly monikered soft toy? Enticing. Several times a day the fur around his mouth is left glistening with saliva.
But, until very recently, kisses for people were definitely not on the menu. Putting on a brave face, my wife and I made do with his (excellent) hugs. But our lips and hearts yearned for more, and now we get it. Satisfied that his technique has been honed, our beautiful boy has been bestowing upon us some high quality affection.
He’s not one for subtlety; once he’s decided someone is getting a kiss he accelerates toward the recipient at a full speed, thundering crawl. Upon arrival, the kissee is held tightly in a two handed grip, and treated to a full, open mouthed contact. It’s a good idea to have a tissue handy, Cam has saliva in abundance, and is keen to share it.
Which, obviously, is lovely. Really, really lovely. Cam’s becoming a really affectionate little boy, and I love that. Hugs are common these days, waving is near constant, a beaming smile whenever me or Mrs L enter a room is almost mandatory. He’s telling us he likes us, even though he can’t yet tell us in words, and that means the world to me.
It is a little disconcerting when he tries to stick his tongue in your mouth though.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Ever had one of those days where you find yourself agreeing with both lauded philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and masked Iowan nu-metal band Slipknot?
You should try it, it’s quite good.
Nah, I’m lying, it sucks.
Sartre and Slipknot have, decades apart, come to pretty similar conclusions about something. The former said: “L’enfer c’est les autres” (hell is other people) while the latter made it a bit more blunt with their take: “People = Shit”.
On Wednesday evening, following a run in with someone at a basketball training session, I was inclined to concur with their point of view. I won’t go into the tiresome detail of how it was that this angry individual and I developed our relationship during the course of that hour, but I will tell you this: it is the only time I can ever remember someone calling me a fucking cunt. Which was nice.
I also came away with a bruised cheekbone courtesy of his elbow, a big toenail which I’m fairly sure won’t be part of my body for much longer, and a deep rooted sense of hollow despair. Those first two are okay, I’m big enough and ugly enough to take a few physical knocks. The last one though? I don’t like that.
I exaggerate, of course. It was actually a fleeting sense of hollow despair. I’m fine now. But I hate when someone manages to get under my skin like that, to make me feel bad about people. I rant and moan often enough about certain parts of the world which I don’t think much of; aggressive capitalism, far right politics, far left politics, other stuff. But, ultimately, despite a healthy dose of cynicism, I tend to think the people you meet on a day to day basis are generally “nice” people.
When I meet someone who calls me what that guy called me it throws all that off balance a little bit. If someone is that angry with me when I really hadn’t done anything which warranted it, what else might he get angry about? Or where? I’ve never been in a physical fight with someone. The idea of it terrifies me. People who want to fight are not people I want to be near, and I was VERY near to this guy, who clearly wanted to fight me.
Anyway, yeah, it all plays on my mind a bit when I start thinking about Cam growing up. He’s going to meet horrible people, isn’t he? There are horrible people in the world, and they’re not ALL on the executive board of Tesco. He’ll actually meet them when he’s walking down the road, being all nice.
It’s complicated, this parenthood thing. I spend a lot of time worrying that bringing a new life into the world was a stupid and irresponsible thing to do, but then it gets balanced against the fact that Cam is, by an enormous margin, the best thing I’ve ever had a hand in creating.
Cam is surrounded by love and friendly, caring people at the moment, I want it to stay that way. But I know I can’t protect him forever. Especially when I can’t walk properly because my toe’s trying to fall off.