Parenting, Self Pity And Rum

(This is a blog written a few years ago, then not posted due to worrying about what certain parties might feel about it… time has now passed and so it’s fine. It’s totally fine, isn’t it? Well it is. Also, it’s surprisingly positive of tone, I think, and shit is shit right now, so why not flashback to something good before we get to the current scene. Also also, I’ve not finished any new ones and wanted to post summat.)
Five years and nine months ago I had sex with a woman, and roughly nine months after that a little person came out of the woman with whom I, as previously stated, had had the sex with.  There followed a period of that happy family business you would normally associate with those who had sired children, but unfortunately it was a relatively short one punctuated by moments of uncertainty, resulting in a situation very similar to the current status quo.  So, as you may have worked out using your fingers, that child has just turned five, which as well as being a fair bit longer than I thought I’d be able to keep something more complicated than a houseplant alive for, is the starting point for this blog.  
I tend not to write a lot about my spawn, aside from the odd mention here and there, partly because I am aware it can be crushingly dull for those without children, and partly because it doesn’t seem fair to keep an online account of her movements without her permission.  As there are large chunks of her time in which she genuinely seems to believe she is a cat, I don’t feel she is ready to green light such things.
The other party invested in this small person is now married to a lovely chap, and the majority of the offsprings time is spend at theirs, with an every other weekend and one night a week arrangement allowing me to be as involved as is both possible and convenient for all parties.  As such, on her birthday proper, my heir was with her mother and step father after the school day had finished, and I was a visitor.  It is an odd thing to walk in to an event that you had always hoped to be an integral part of – throughout its entirety – and know that just as it has started without you, it will continue perfectly happily after you depart.  Not depressing or life breaking, not disastrous or damaging.  Just odd.
There is a role that a parent, mother or father, takes on day to day, that is unshakable in every mundane action, and this role feels especially important and rewarding on key events.  First day of school, Christmas, Easter, holidays away, birthdays.  When either parent enters any of these events as a guest, in some respects an outsider, with their role being represented by another, then no matter how fine and nice and normal and totally ok everything is, that visiting parent feels a bit hard done by.  Slightly uncomfortable or detached.  Arriving to find yourself and your family enjoying a precious moment, before remembering it’s not you because you’ve just arrived, it’s someone else, and hang on, what?  Oh yeah, that’s right.
A mild undercurrent of a sensation, but a sensation nevertheless.  Even as someone in touch with the fact that things change and move on – someone comfortable with the idea that it’s perfectly normal to not be what used to be thought of as perfectly normal – there are still moments when ones sense of importance and entitlement allow for the seeds of self pity and creeping melancholy to sprout.  An internal reminder of how life works kept things in perspective though, and even though creeping melancholy looks lovely this time of year I didn’t let it take over, because, well because basically I’m brilliant.  It is off the back of the last blog on change that this event came to mind, because there has been a lot of it in the last few years,  both outward and inward.  Not so long ago the events described above would have most likely sent me spiralling into a beautifully self indulgent world of pity and distress.  As if I was actually important.  It’s proving much healthier to be aware of the gentle awkwardness of such situations – and the feelings attached – to be honest about them to myself and others.
Crucially though, it is not worth fretting over, not worth dwelling on and, most importantly, not worth letting such fretting, dwelling and related nonsense negatively effect what is yet to come.  Things change but they don’t have to change me for the worse, or something less sick-in-my-mouthy, but with the same basic message.

(It’s worth mentioning that this floaty, understanding, calm, sage-like point of view has pretty much fucked off with all my hopes, dreams and security. So it’s likely that the new posts will be less contemplative and more ARRGGHMAGARGH. Just FYI.)

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