Didsbury Son leaves home a boy and comes back a…
He left a boy, he has come back a boy with a faux gruff voice and a sense of independence that I am openly applauding and inwardly grieving. Didsbury Son has been away on scout camp. Each week we walk to scouts and call it cubs. Not, I now realise , out of stupidity, infirmness or to be a smart Alec (sorry Alec). I now understand that I call it cubs to support my illusion that Didsbury Son is still the waist-high, hand gripping falsetto who laughed at my daftness and genuinely thought I knew everything.
Like all parental realisations I feel myself gradually merging into my own Didsbury Dad. I know why he continued to call me pet names long after I saved pocket-money for 10 Embassy Regal (to look sophisticated in The Dog & Partridge) and began wearing more eyeliner than my own Didsbury Mum (It was the mid 80s).
To put this in context. Didsbury Son was to be away for 5 days on scout camp whilst Didsbury Wife and I swanked it up in rain-soaked Wales. There is nothing like spending endless days hearing rain dance ceaselessly on your roof to make you appreciate home.
By Day 3 I had gone beyond being bribed by chips. I was missing Didsbury Son’s bleep of pixellated demons dying in close proximity (Dad, I’m in a Battle – unleash hell for God and King Harry) and was even missing cleaning up the latest lacerated offering from Didsbury Fat Cat’ s summer collection.
I had half-packed when the news of Didsbury Son’s twisted ankle came crackling through the no reception, Wifiless airwaves.
Within 5 minutes we had the excuse needed to drive East quickly. Didsbury Mum fretted, mobilised troops of waiting relatives to receive our wounded soul as we discussed A&E options and sped through the gathering gloom towards Didsbury.
We smelled Didsbury Son on the breeze minutes from home. Not just us. Dogs howled in admiration as four washless days spent climbing and jumping honked their way home. Still in uniform and indignant at having to leave early, our little boy came home. The same, thankfully not too injured and unfathomably- a little grunty and detached.
It’s time to get the big guns out. If My ickle Wickle ex blondini boy can resist me pretending to walk downstairs infront of them with pants in my head telling a toilet joke I give in.
I will take him for a pint in the Fletch, discuss torque (whatever that is) and pretend I know what youngsters today like to do.