We're back after our weekend in the caravan I mentioned a bit ago. We had a brilliant time, the sun shone as brightly as The Boy did, the 2p machines in the arcades offloaded their treasures on command, it was perfect in so many ways.
The time away gave me time to reflect on my last post (that's a complete lie, it's just something I've seen other people say, if I'm honest the time away gave me no time to do anything apart from follow the timetable). In case you haven't guessed by now I have an ever so slight tendency to overthink things sometimes... I've read all the brilliant comments people have added here and on facebook, and spoken at length with others about it, not least The Boy. And I suppose the conclusion is that for the time being we'll continue to share those bits of our lives that feel right sharing.
I think this is the crux of my concerns - I want to be a Dad first, and a blogger/comedian second. I wanted to post my doubts because it had almost got to a stage where something happened and my first thought wouldn't be to enjoy and savour it, it would be "Oh, I must write a blog about that...". I needed to take a step back and remind myself what (or who) this is all about. Performing the show still raises many questions and doubts, so we'll mark that one down as a work-in-progress and I shall go away and over-think it some more.
Anyway, this blog today has been made much easier to write by an email I received earlier this week. Its timing couldn't have been more perfect, and if anything it was a reminder about why sharing parts of our story has been such a positive thing. There's a lovely family I have been in touch with as a result of writing here, and although I've met mum and dad, the children had never met... until our trip away. This is the email:
"My son’s not Rainman either….
I met a man somewhere down on the South Coast, he and his lad were loitering near the crazy golf centre. His lad was in a wheelchair having exhausted himself at the arcades apparently.
The man I met writes a blog, we had arranged to meet up having got to know each other at some events over the last year or so. His The Boy was going to meet my The Boy for the first time, would they get on, would they acknowledge each other, would they give a flying whatever that they were being forced to meet. When all they really have in common is a couple of fathers who are not sure they are coping terribly well with being parents.
4 hours later, after innumerable cups of coffee, trips to arcades, games of Top Trumps and looks of bewilderment, it was decided, by the two The Boys, that their fathers were really rather odd, very embarrassing, prone to laughing at things that aren’t funny and quite good for persuading to buy sweets and chocolate. And cake. And hot chocolate. And lemonade.
It was a lovely afternoon, spent with lovely people who sort of get that it is not the dark days that should colour our lives, it is those days when some force takes control and allows us to glimpse into the beautiful, beautiful world of our The Boys.
But one thing about John’s Blog and his rather beautiful turn of phrase I must take issue with. He doesn’t do his The Boy enough justice, he is funnier, he is kinder and he is more mischievous than he is given credit for.
And the thing that sealed the day, The Boy phoning to thank us for a lovely day. John be proud, as I believe he is of you.
Having read this again, I would like to clarify that this wasn’t some kind of blind date, Cilla was nowhere to be seen and we were chaperoned at all times by my wife.
Good times with good people. Mark writes a gardening blog here. I can't tell you if it's any good or not, I don't have a garden.
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.