Blogspot: Living with Luke: Part 83

Lifestyle / Tue 26th Dec 2017 at 11:17am

Living with Luke

NOW and again, we drop into the blog written by Harlow playwright, Steve Hannam.

The blogs chronicle his day to day life and relationship with his son, who is autistic.


He has written a play based on his experiences. It has proven very popular and arrives at Harlow Playhouse on Feb 3rd.

The Blog

Tiddles came down the stairs the other night. Looked in the kitchen, then the conservatory and then the office before coming into the living room.

‘Where’s Mum?’ He asked.

‘She’s rehearsing, she’ll be back soon.’ I replied.

‘Where’s Mum?’ He asked again.

‘She’s rehearsing, she’ll be back soon.’ I replied again.

‘Where’s Mum?’ He said for a third time.

‘She’s rehearsing, she’ll be back soon.’ I repeated, patiently.

‘Where’s Mum?’ He asked.

‘She’s rehearsing, she’ll be back soon.’ I said once more.

Now if that exchange has been a bit boring to read, then consider this. The time it took to actually read that was the time it took for the whole conversation between us…about 20-30 seconds. And it’s probably the longest conversation we’ve ever had between us.

Any ‘normal’ child, having asked the same question even twice, would probably have been told to go and play and not to keep asking the same question over and again, especially 10 seconds after they asked the first time. But, as we all know, Tiddles – and children like him (I know he’s 19, but as I keep saying, he’ll always be my little boy…) don’t really ask the typical questions that children do…Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? How is Teresa May still Prime Minister?…That sort of thing…

So to have him come and sit and ask questions…ok, it was the SAME question, four times…was something rare and although the subject matter was again, ‘why are you here and Mum isn’t? I was happy to answer this over and over, exactly the same way and as many times as it needed to be.


Well…why not?

The occasion was a one off. It’s not happened before or since. He’s asked where his Mum is many times but never over and over like that. He may never ask like that again, but if he ever does, I’ll do exactly the same again for him.

The question hurts. It’s a rejection because he’s not asking out of interest like The Eldest Child would ask, he’s asking because he wants her there and not me. He wants Mum and he’ll kick off if he knows she’s going out without him, so she has to sneak out whenever she does go out.

I barely get a wave when I go, but that’s how it has always been.

So the question hurts, but he asked me, talked to me, 4 times! I would’ve answered it twice as many if I’d had to and wouldn’t have been bored, or told him to go away and to stop asking.

There’s so much in our lives that we take for granted especially where our children – if you have children – are concerned. Most of all is time. We need to grab the moments that are seemingly meaningless at the time and look back and think, ‘oh yeah…’ because, as I said, Tiddles hasn’t ever done that before, or since and he may never, ever do that again for the rest of his life.

But he did do it.

Just the once.

And I spent those 30 seconds having a conversation with my youngest son.

Merry Christmas.

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