God, Toggles and Chocolate
Our house reads from differing sides of the Old Testament. My Passover is Didsbury Wife’s Last Supper – same God, different caterers. Her Easter Egg trumps my Matzo but the Charoset (pronounced by continuously clearing ones throat whilst shouting et) is gaining favour. Then comes the dilemma. Didsbury Son is an easy-going and friendly only-child; so he receives an Augustus Gloop of chocolate eggs and has no sibling rivals to steal them; just me after he is asleep and I am pretending that chocolate stimulates the creative juices, not the salivary glands. The mixing of religions can be invigorating and waist expanding and not mind if you are not careful. I am many things, but not that careful.
May 15th is a bittersweet day. Pride at Didsbury son winning The Pip Hartley challenge on a cubs weekend, tinged with sadness at missing the last day of the football season and my lot ending on a slump that had begun pre-Christmas. As proud parents we travel out of Didsbury and even Greater Manchester. It could be Derbyshire, Lancashire or North Wales, it is all interchangeable to me. Narrow roads, grey buildings and no Flat Whites. 5Live fades too quickly and my 3G goes as we enter the gulag they stayed at with only 10 minutes gone in a pointless match to all but… dads in their early 40s with a fear of being asked to go camping.
Cub camp resembles some 70s TV imagining of post apocalyptic Britain; with toggles and orange headbands. To Didsbury Son it is a land of adventure and glory with friends, campfires and late night songs and stories. To Didsbury Wife it has Didsbury Son and is therefore the best place on earth. We coo diligently about his team’s great navigation; breathe through our mouths to avoid the overwhelming smell of damp people sharing a small space but our pride is mixed with dread. I realise that it is muddy fields with toggles rather than football grounds and balls that I will probably be traipsing around for the next few years and the thought of a wet night in a tent is making my knees creak in fear.