Nothing underlines fatherhood and what one has done in the past 18, nearly 19 years than taking your beautiful daughter up to Manchester University unloading your car, cleaning the room top to bottom, nipping out to get food, taking her out to lunch and then being told, using her eyes and general demeanour, “to fuck off and let me crack on” theres freshers week to get stuck into.
Its funny, aged nearly 20 when I went to Uni, I’d been travelling around Asia; my Gran had bought me a ticket and encouraged me to go, and when I arrived back in Blighty after 8 months on the trail, I felt pretty good, and ready to crack on. I was going to University (of sorts) with a whole heap of being away from home experience, I was sent to Boarding School aged 12, then travel in India, etc. I was no longer a beginner in Drug Use, having fully immersed myself in it all in Goa 1990. And Drinking was my religion, sadly today I probably drink too much too as the of you who are familiar with this shambles can probably agree with. I remember having a last Sunday Lunch at my Mum and Dad’s house, having had a couple of pints at “The Plough” (google it, its still there) and then that was it. My car, packed the night before; Stereo and Record Player, Records and Posters, Tapes and Blu Tac, Hippy Jumpers and Cigarettes. I was ready. But stopped at the pub on my way to the motorway for a couple more pints, and thankfully realised before it was too late that I was probably nearly unfit to drive. Anyway I got there, and I was fine, Drinking and Driving was a shit thing to do then, and its still a shit thing to do now. Don’t judge. I can’t remember my folks being particularly fussed, but then I can’t remember much from then, but I do know how i felt this morning when I woke up at my home here in the highlands of Worcestershire. I realised that my daughter may never live here permanently again, I realised she may never text me with a picture of a cup of tea in the morning again, I realised that she may never ban us from entering the sitting room because she’s watching some dross on the telly, and i’ll miss that.
I hope I am/was close enough to my daughter for her to want to speak to me occasionally, as it hurts not to. We have our differences and we share the same birthday, similar personalities, occasionally clash, but ultimately we are cut from the same cloth; she cut from the Mr and Mrs T cloth which we ourselves manufactured in a fabulous sexy blender, and me cut from the Biological Dad who still exists and the Alcohol Troubled Mother who I never had the chance to meet. And so to them, I raise my crimson glass of Argentinian Red, what a good gene pool we have stumbled into.
I spoke to her this evening, there was a flood from next door as her neighbour can’t use a shower, and she’s got several “Pre’s” to go to (pre-pub sessions) this evening, so when I spoke to her she was curling her hair, already looking slightly older. Wiser? Nah, but older, the wiseness will come, over the next weeks and months, after adventures and mistakes, fun and travelling home in an Asda shopping cart (trolley, I had to get the prompt in somehow). So its quiet not having her here to shout at me, its worrying having the ability to track her, but not knowing “Where” she is. (She doesn’t know I have the tracking ability, really, she doesn’t, I’ve kept it quiet)And its sad to know that I can’t speak to her whenever I want to, its on her terms now. As my friend and esteemed colleague and regular on this blog Dr S said to me only this morning:
“It’s her Time”
He’s right but I don’t have to like it!