I learned something today. Something vitally important. Not to me, but to my loving, yet vulnerable son. It was a simple but heart-breaking lesson full of reward. Hug your child.
Sounds utterly simplistic. Obvious, but there I was staring into yet another screen and asking myself – in that trance-like state we find ourselves when unable to be dragged away from technology to see the real world in front of us.
Picture this. Just moved lock, stock and barrel back to home town to be nearer to loved ones after untimely death of my wife in last 12 months. House a riot, but we’re home. Box city, living in a two-year-old’s mesmerising world of mayhem. Still need to function, still need to work, the bills need to be paid.
One of those deadline, time sensitive days, the opposite of supping a freshly brewed coffee in joggers and strolling round the house bare feet while pondering what to do in the new garden.
Need to press the button on a press release to catch the afternoon conferences. The outliers have already been sent. We’re waiting on the official photos to come in before we can send. A PGA pro we work with and advise was asking how to handle an upcoming interview ahead this year’s Scottish Open, while a supplier needed sign off on a considerable order of signage to be in place in time for key events at a client’s venue.
Usual stuff but all comes to a head on this particular afternoon. Problem was wee guy was rolling about the hallway floor, balling his lamps out in full throttle. In my view, it was because I gave him half his banana and water but said it couldn’t be eaten on the breakfast stools as they were too high and dangerous for a wee guy on his own.
Toys out of the pram. Big style. Daddy, with full workload digs the heels in and retires to the study believing tantrum will pass. Tantrum slithers from kitchen to study door along the wooden floor. No getting away from it this time – certainly no phones calls. How unprofessional would that be, crying ‘wean’ while trying to appear all professional? Nonsense.
It’s intolerable, there is no way to function. It’s like the Drumcree standoff between Conor and I – which is ridiculous considering he is two and I’m 42.
But it provided a lightbulb moment, the kick up of the backside I selfishly needed. What did I do? Picked up my son and gave him a hug. Nothing more, nothing less. He clung like a sheepskin coat in the depth of winter. A warm embrace, reassurance, that’s all he needed. The wailing quickly receded to gulps of crying before the witty chat slowly returned. In this heat, it’s “Slies” which spills from his cute, lispy diction. Conor is referring to those pesky flies that are everywhere in this heatwave we are all adjusting to.
Sitting at the disorganised office desk, in full embrace with my world on my lap, it was one of those moments, unconditional love. Sweet Jesus, why had I let Conor cry so long, the 10 minutes seemed a lifetime, but probably an eternity in his wee world.
What did we do? Dad talked to the pro. We lined up the pic and issued the press release. The signage got ordered and, with Conor on my knee and mouse in hand, we giggled our way through the necessity of work.
We worked out a way of doing it with a smile – and all it took was a hug.
Gill and Conor 2016: Mummy always gave the best hugs