It’s so long since I last wrote anything, I’m forgetting how to do this. So I thought I’d have a go at one of those “if we were having coffee” type posts.
If we were having coffee, first, I would congratulate you on coaxing me out of the house, and secondly I’d ask if there was any chance of having the caffeine intravenously? No? Pity, I might go nose first into my Americano in that case. Man I am tired at the moment, like deep down, bone tired.
Folk day dream about winning the lottery, or holidays, or nights out – I daydream about deep, crashed out, restful sleep and waking up enthusiastic for the day ahead. Meh! This isn’t meant to be a long moan, so enough of the pity party.
My youngest bear cub spent his first night away from home. He’s 9, so not a baby by any means, but for a wee man he packs a quare* punch. The entire house was bereft: Husband had no one winding him up that the Spurs mascot is just a chicken; his brother had no one to poke and fight with; I found one dog lying cuddling his pencil case (??) and the other camped out on his bed, who point blank refused to move off it (she is never allowed to sleep upstairs).
Then there was me. I have some reservations about comparing myself to a mama tiger or bear as they have a magnificence about them that I find sadly lacking in the mirror, but after a lifetime watching nature documentaries I’m familiar with their behaviour when missing a cub. It was the same. I had to stop myself from pacing and had to ignore the pain in my chest where it felt like something integral had been ripped out.
Now I don’t need you to tell me that this was irrational. I know this. He was safe, having fun, on a school trip. Did it make a button of difference? Bloody sure it didn’t! My cub was not where he was supposed to be, cuddled in beside me, breaking my ears with his latest conquest in Terreria or telling me things I don’t understand about Fortnite.
Meanwhile – In work I have been learning sign language, which is cool. It was a pilot course, the council haven’t offered this before so I was part of the guinea pig team. I have to say, I have really enjoyed it.
Whilst I have a long way to go before anything remotely bordering on fluency, I have some basics. I can ask if you need help, and recognise if, yes you do; I can give simple directions, talk about the weather, time, and your preferred means of travel. All very British. Incidentally, I was also able to sign the first couple of Verses of The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m in Love’ cue #SmugFace
The fact that I think in pictures rather than words definitely helped… up until finger spelling. I can finger spell things out without much problem, but interpreting others is far harder. The letters they spell out don’t behave themselves inside my head. Instead of lining up properly, like they do on Countdown, they buzz around like ants. I daresay it’ll come with practice.
So – we need heartbreak music in the background for this next bit, and hankies.
Are you ready?
My eldest no longer believes in Santa.
The first casualty in the war of belief was The Tooth Fairy; that happened about 6 or 9 months ago, quickly followed by God.
He held out on Santa, but in the end, his rationale won over blind faith.
This is in a marked difference to his younger brother, who hasn’t believed in God for a long time, but continues to keep faith in both the Tooth Fairy and Santa, neither of whom have ever let him down. God, on the other hand, did not mend the wardrobe door (that the cub broke swinging on it), despite a full nights fervent praying, so was summarily dismissed.
I did mention that ‘perhaps God just said no’ but to no avail, and since my own faith was battered out of me over the years, I didn’t argue the point.
Anyway, back to Santa. Eldest doesn’t believe, youngest does. So I took my boy out for a bun to get a handle on the situation. “So, the Tooth Fairy…’ I begin
“Is you and Dad” he replies.
I nod, coughs, <mainly me> “Is there anything else you want to ask about?”
“I don’t believe in Santa” he replies, casually chewing on a cinnamon pretzel.
I visualise a Christmas fairy crashing to the ground as her wings detach.
“That’s what I thought” I say, “time for you to join the club”
I’ve been prepping for this, reading up on how to break the news gently, so that no one feels let down or lied to.
“You are right, Santa as an individual, who lives at the North Pole, doesn’t exist. But that’s because really all of us are Santa. As you get older, Christmas becomes more about giving than receiving and now that you know, you have to become part of it. I would like you to choose someone, and find out a thing that they want or need, then I’ll help you to get it to them, but it has to be a secret. They cant know it’s from you, that way you become ‘Santa’ too”.
“Anonymous” he says with a mouthful of cinnamon sugar.
“Yes, and it has to stay that way. You absolutely can’t tell anyone about this, and you can’t tell anyone younger than you that Santa doesn’t exist.”
“Because I’m Santa now too”
“Precisely” says I <phew!>
He looks at his empty pretzel bag, and then at the remains of mine.
“Can I have a rainbow slushy please?”
I’m taking it that he’s not crushed then.
What’s worrying me is, if this rationale works for him, there is no way that it will work for the cub. Yikes!
So that’s where we’re at, I’m continuing to balance on the tightrope of life, staggering a bit, but haven’t fallen off yet.
Oh – and the other thing, completely unrelated. Come the zombie apocalypse, I know what my weapon of choice should be… the passenger door of a car. The amount of people I have cleaned out with the car door is embarrassing. I think I’m up to about 8 (this month!) If I attach a Boadicea style blade to it I’ll be deadly. Just thought I’d pass that integral information on.
As you were.
*Quare This is your introduction into Ulster-Scots language. Quare means impressively, usually impressively large.
e.g Yer man has a quare appetite on him, his breakfast disappeared like snow off a ditch.