Sunday, 15 November 2015

Memories for my son Charles Atherton-Laurie....

About a month ago, my 16 year old son informed me that he didn't see me as a "real" father but more as a distant relative and he didn't want to come to London to see me anymore (he resides in Cardiff with his mother).

As I'd just travelled 160 miles from London to Cardiff on a National Express Coach in the early hours of the morning (arriving at 3am) had, had no sleep (spending the remaining hours until 09:00am in a 24 hour McDonald's - my idea of hell) before meeting him, all simply to deliver his Comicon Costume (a birthday present that I'd had made by the special effects team behind the masks in Mad Max Fury Road) on time...

To say I was disappointed, would have been the biggest understatement in history.

The cliched words that came from his mouth like "You're buying my affection" I believe could only have come from his other parent.

It's not like that he doesn't know his father sleeps in a car, on the tube or when lucky crashes on friends floors or that because of his health has to survive on disability state benefits (a wapping £20 per day), so with what he thinks I can buy his affection, is beyond me.

The amazing things I am able to achieve for him come from living in London and having a wonderful circle of friends who would do anything for him.

But while we endure our estrangement the thing that annoys me most is the inability to share those moments that I so love.

He's hoping to become an Aeronautical Engineer and my recent visit to the Science Museums Cosmonaut exhibition I know he would have (excuse the pun) been over the moon with, even though I was clearly visible in the crowds of the Lord Mayors Parade in the BBC coverage yesterday, he wasn't with me and his Mum even when prompted, wouldn't point me out to him on their TV in Cardiff.

But with his recent revelation that he may be Transgender it was the launch of Brewdogs new beer No-Label on Friday that I would loved to share with him, because only in London would a brewery produce a sex-change beer to celebrate inclusivity.

Nothing like that would ever happen in the pitiful slurry that calls itself the capital of Wales.

I just hope my absence from his life is merely a phase and we will, not very long from now, once again rekindle our relationship as Father and son, as I love him dearly and miss him every day.