I love watching the immediacy of Didsbury Son’s life. Every new conversation is a best friend, each new pointless American cartoon is a journey of discovery whose ending he has not yet worked out in advance and each moment has a sense of urgency that comes with having the gift of being in the present. There is no cynicism, no sighing (except at comprehensions); surprises and treats of any kind come as surprising treats.
Doing some 40-something dull-to-the-bone reminiscing has proved to be something of a liberation. Whilst all that caring and intensity is exciting it can also be draining and tiring as time goes by. Social Media must make the paranoia of being ” in” even worse than in the 80s and 90s. It’s not sick, not bum. Last week in Tesco two wanna be gangsta teenagers were waxing about the Hoisin Duck Wrap being “bum”. I thought the rump steak was bum but that is just facetious and I am glad that the major M20 turf wars surround lawns.
So here is my non exhaustive guide to the liberation of being past 36 and having the pleasure of caring deeply, but not about very much.
1. A defeat for my team at the weekend no longer clouds it. I have heard all the gags, insults, 1-4-all and all 4-1 chimes and although I take pleasure in victory, defeat is tempered by having seen it before.
2. Cool underwear. Marks and Spencers’ pants are really comfy and built with practicality in mind
3. I may fleetingly be lured by the advert for the latest blockbuster but by the time I have taken Didsbury Son to see the latest dancing lion or improbable robot and sat through SJP or Jennifer Aniston’s latest romcom with Didsbury Wife it will be gone and I can enjoy it on my own at home with the cats on FlmFlex.
4. I like cars, have no idea how an engine works and don’t care about torque. Is it cheap to insure and run and childproof?
5. Birthdays – they are lovely but if members of my close family forget a card I reckon it has saved me £2 when it’s their turn.
6. Burning people off at the lights, bad for fuel consumption.
7. Converse trainers- too low on the heel, bad for the arch.
8. Fancy restaurants – overpriced, under portioned and lacking the challenge of all you can eat.
9. School playground etiquette – understanding this is similar to knowing a Masons handshake for the uninitiated.
10. The Weekend. Between taxi duties and domestic ones, Monday night is a relief.
However, what I have learned is that if you pick the right ones, the pleasure and pride you get is increased. So little victories for Didsbury Son at school and play mean more than a good away win, anniversaries of firsts and occasions resonate more loudly and remembering your real friends and family becomes more of a pleasure. So if I can get Didsbury Son to score the winning goal in a cup final on the anniversary of my first date with Didsbury Wife I am sorted.