June 23, 2005

Taking notes

Every so often, punkin, I think about why I'm doing this.

I think about what prompted me to start it, and I wonder if there's a legitimate reason to keep going, apart from inertia.

Certainly, I feel an obligation to our readers, those people who need to be able to feel like they're part of the process, that they're involved in your growth and your upbringing. I feel an obligation to you, to make sure that you're able to look back on this time in years to come and see for yourself what was going through my sleep-deprived brain.

More than that, though, it's about the writing.

Writing for me represents an absolute. People who know me well will tell you with certainty that I express myself more clearly with the written word than I do verbally. This is not the case for everyone, but in my case I know that, if I'm to be able to reach out across the years and talk to you, this is the best way I know how.

Looking at you now, particularly when you're doing what your mum and I refer to as "the banana", arching your back, kicking your legs and waving your arms, your face contorted with rage and your screams drowning out all other sounds, I wonder if I'm ever going to be able to communicate with you.

You get so frustrated when you can't sleep, I want to tell you that it's ok, that you'll fall asleep eventually, but I can't console you.

Save, of course, for tried and trusted methods. This involves:
- picking you up
- wrapping you firmly
- walking to a particular spot in our bedroom, which, in a suspicious coincidence, is about as far from my side of the bed as you can get in our bedroom (need I remind you, punkin, that it's winter?)
- patting your back in a rrrrrythmic fashion until you drop off
- NOT MOVING for the next four minutes (this is the most important bit, otherwise we have to start all over again)

Having said all that, of course I also must tell you that everytime, without fail, everytime I stand there and rock you in my arms, (once you stop screaming), every time you get quiet and look up at me, my heart breaks and I fall in love with you all over again.

Love you.


The Family Man said...

This is a wonderful post. Anyone who has had children can relate...but you express it so well. "Punkin' is lucky to hae such a great dad. I enjoy your blog very much.

Paul said...

It's rare that I feel old. I'm not. I'm 27, which isn't old at all. Although, being less than 2 months old yourself, you probably don't really comprehend how old that is, and by the time you do, you'll probably consider me ancient. '27,' you'll say, 'You don't understand what it's like to be young. All the other 4 and a half year olds are watching...' and then you'll reel off a list of childrens programs which your parents feel are completely inappropriate for you to be watching. (Keep it between us, I'll only stop you watching when they're around. When they've legged it to the cinema to watch Batman Ends, I'll let you watch whatever you want. I want to be the cool uncle!)

I have a point, trust me on this, but first - a story.

We have some work experience kids at work this week. They're young. 16 & 17. Actually, they're just younger. I'm young. Or at least not old.

Picture this for a moment - you're 16 (or 17) and your work experience is coming to a games company for a week. You sit, and you play games for a few days.

Trust me, when you're 16 (or 17) and you're searching for work experience, you'll kill for a situation like this. It's better than being cooped up in a law office, or a cattle farm, or working installing telephones.

You overhear a meeting. A briefing between a designer (me) and an artist (Rich) about doing some concept art for a project. 'Hoh hoh', you think (because that's how all the young kids of today think), 'I'll ask if I can do some artwork as well.'

So you ask. And you're told ok.

'gosh-darn,' you think, 'I wonder what I'll have to draw.'

So, I gather my things. I print out copies of the game story. I have a think about what I could possibly use, and what they might enjoy. I decide, and wander over to have a chat.

Let's pause for a moment, and break for a commercial.

In the world, pumpkin, is a thing called television. On this thing, are other things called show's. One of these show's is called 'Doctor Who.' It's quite an important show, for a lot of different reasons. A lot of people feel affection for it. A lot of people feel a deep connection to it, for a whole load of reasons.

One of those reasons is that it's been around for over forty years.

Forty years pumpkin. Imagine that. You've barely been around for forty days.

On this show, which is itself on television, is a magic box called the TARDIS. The TARDIS is a time machine, that's bigger on the inside than the outside, and which looks like a 1960's british police box.

1960 pumpkin. Imagine that. I wasn't born, and neither were your parents.

But still, we all know what a police public call-box is. And we all know what a TARDIS is.

But today, I realised that not everybody does, and I had to explain, to a 16 (& 17) year old, what the TARDIS was.

And I was struck by how much of what we know and love as adults can get lost in the cracks. I'm not old, but today I was reminded that you don't have to be, that there is always youth, and that, as a grown up (although not an old one...) there is so much to teach and share.

And I thought of you, and of how, as part of your extended family, we can show you the stuff that's dear to us, and help guide you, instill in you a love of...something...anything...I dunno. Maybe not exactly what we love (Doctor Who can be a bit crap to be honest). But there will be something. I hope. Something that can be passed on. Even if it's just that when you're 16 (or 17) you say to your friends 'yeah, that's rubbish, my uncle harry likes that. He talks about it all the time. come on, let's go see that new Star Wars film, I loved the original trilogy. No, not that ancient one, the REAL trilogy.'

What I'm tryin to say, in my verbose, disconnected way, is that there is so much to learn, so much to share, and so much to enjoy and celebrate, that it's kind of cool to be a part of it all.

Welcome to the world, pumpkin, I think you're going to like it here.

lovelyamy said...

hiya harry - its amy eve's sister
although i'm about your age, i feel like im 16 constantly... my grandma in licoln said she felt like she was 16 too but like a slug on the outside... i guess we never grow up *

we're not that old...


ps when we were kids, eve used to dress up in our old cylindrical perforated laundry basket with a plunger stuck through one of the holes (darlek style...) so i'm afraid I cant watch doctor who...