I thought this would be an easy blog to write… Gushing praise… but that’s a bit pat. I love all my children as any parent does, but I also like the people they have become. That’s not to say it is all easy! Let’s face it I’m not easy. I’m prone to be hyper or morose in equal measure… well 20% hyper 80% morose, the truth be told. I have always tried to put them first. Although, this has not always been possible, when I left the family home seven years ago, I felt terribly guilty about letting my youngest son down, as he was only 14 at the time… I’d agreed with Marie, my beloved, that I would wait until he was 18 before I moved out… But once she moved up to Crewe to be there for me… I couldn’t wait. I felt choked being apart from her, I was so full of ticks, facial and vocal, if I had not moved out, I would have become a basket case.
Amy was born in 1985, I’d been married for three years. She took an interminable amount of time to show up. Her mother was in labour about 27 hours… Poor her you might think, but to be honest she slept through most of it, after having an epidural. I had to sit for hours, listening to the beep of the baby monitor they had attached to make sure the baby didn’t get too distressed… Nevermind the poor father! I watched the pulse rate go up and down, alarms would go off, and no staff showed the remotest interest… I kept calling the nurses in, and they would shew me away whilst they examined the mother and child. At 5.30 A.M. Amy appeared, 5 lbs 13 oz, she was tiny, she was beautiful, she was perfect. Any is now 32, pregnant and about the bravest person I know. I went off travelling on my own to Jersey, another story for another time, but I was a street-wise 20-year-old boy. She travelled to America, Canada and Thailand, Laos and Cambodia all on her own. She is 4’11” a dot of a girl, but she has no fear! In Laos, I think, she came down with Dengue Fever…
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.Recovery generally takes two to seven days. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.
I received a phone call at some ludicrous time of day, usually 3a.m.,
” Dad, I keep passing out, I’ve got a terrible head-ache, Somebody had to lift me up out of the toilet and put me back to bed… what shall I do?”
“Can you pretend not to be sick?”
” Because if you are that sick, you need medical attention, so either you go to hospital in a third world country, with no medical insurance or anything… Or you book a flight home as soon as possible, and I will pick you up from the airport and take you home and you can get treated there.”
This is how brave my daughter is, she caught a plane to China, then to India, and flew home to Gatwick, whilst all the time suffering from a severe case of Dengue Fever… Amazing feat. She still suffers from the side effects of Dengue Fever to this day, much the same way as my Granddad used to have Malarial flares-ups.
With her brother Nathan, she also walked from Lands End to John O’Groats in support of leukaemia, which unfortunately took our Uncle Melvyn in the same year. She had numerous problems, swollen ankles, rashes… but she never gave up and I had the pleasure of meeting the two at John O’Groats.
Nath is the funniest person I know, his sense of humour is second only to his comic timing… It’s funny how your kids all have different aspects of your personality, you would think that bringing them up in the same way, they would all be similar in personality. But they are not, all three are different. Nath was the only birth I missed. I got a phone call from the hospital saying my wife had been induced and by the time I got there, Nath was already there. I think he was the biggest baby of the three, about 8 lbs 8 oz… I know I should know, but to be honest it was 28 years ago, and it hasn’t come up that often. He is a character. To say the least. A friend of his once referred to him as Jesus. Well he said. “Gotta look after the Jesus fella.” Not sure what he meant, but I kind of knew… Nathan is capable of anything. Good, Bad or bloody awful. You get to the stage that nothing shocks you. He would wear his school Blazer inside out, just to say Fuck You! He was wearing the blazer so not breaking any rules… He took one of his O’levels wearing a skirt. He would go out to parties and I’d get a phone call… Nath’s on the roof again.
Nath Used the police as a taxi firm… I’d get knocked up by two burly policemen… Is This your son?
We just picked him up at the end of the street.
So You picked him up 50 yards from his front door?
Yes, but we weren’t to know that… He was acting very drunk!
But not too drunk to find his way home…
We just wanted to make sure he got home safely.
Well thank you Officer… Thank you for your help.
Lots of other incidents… not going to go further. He is very shy. He can’t bear to be tongue-tied, so he drinks and then he can’t stop talking.
He is the second most intelligent person I know, Marie is the most, and yet… I hope he works out a way to live serenely. I truly do.
James was born as a way to save a marriage. A tall order. It didn’t work. I feel I let him down, I left when he still needed me around. He had got the short straw out of the three, because for the most part of his life, I was working away all week and just being a week-end Dad. It was hard on him, but I did give him my weekends almost exclusively, I went to Crewe Alex with him on Saturdays and Sundays I was ever-present for his Football team, even coaching them on occasion. I am the worst football dad, (and rugby, when coaching Nath’s rugby team… I walked on the pitch and threatened one of the opposition when he clothes-lined one of my players off the ball…) I would shout at referees, totally reprehensible. I know… Sport brings out my monster… At school the Deputy Head made me wear a mouth guard just to stop me shouting abuse at the ref… He even made me Captain just because I would at least be allowed to question the Ref without getting sent off.
James is no book-worm. He was unlike the other two who always shared my love of books. James showed no interest in books or reading, until he found football at the age of Four. He was mad about Micheal Owen, and basically taught himself to read with Shoot and other football magazines. He’s very clever, but in ways which are different to me and the other two. He is doing a Business Studies degree at Chester… A subject which just makes me glaze over.
My children are the thing that I am most proud of… The only thing I think I did right. They would all probably claim different. But they would all do anything for me as I would for them. My Dad once said to me,
“The trouble with you is you want your kids to be your friends…”
No Dad, I want them to be my best friends, the same as my brother is…
Thanks for reading…
Live in Love my friends