Memories are Made of This

Just got about as wet as I have ever been with my clothes on yesterday, standing watching Ulster play Harlequins at rugby in the pouring rain and a howling gale. It was so bad that the temporary stand at one end of Ravenhill was evacuated because organisers feared that it might just blow away. But despite the weather (and perhaps because of it) it was one of the best afternoons I have had recently, in what has been a pretty annoying week/month... And although Ulster won (21-10 I think) it had little to do with the score.

No - it was good because it was something that I shared with my son... my eldest son Owain... Indeed, he had arranged it... I had tried to ge tickets earlier in the month but it was sold out, then a few days ago he heard that one of his rugby team-mates had a couple of tickets he couldn't use, and asked if I wanted to buy them... So thanks to him we spent two hours getting wet and freezing cold on a rugby terrace...

But it reminded me how few things we do together these days... Years ago, when he was only small he asked me what games I played with my Dad, to which I said "None." I only remember going to the swimming pool once with my Dad, skipping with him and other members of the family on a family picnic in Castlewellan and interminable bad-tempered games of cards on wet caravan holidays... Putting me off Northern Ireland caravan holidays for life... My Dad was from that generation who believed that the man's job was to provide for his family... Not waste time playing... He was also significantly older when I arrived, so he probably didn't have the same energy to spend on me as he had with my two older brothers, although I suspect that their memories may be similar.

During the summer that was past we did some amazing things with the boys on our trip to the US, like visit Niagara Falls, go for a Dune ride and drive a speed boat on a local lake. At the time I remember thinking that "Memories are made of this!" and that the boys would treasure this forever... But yesterday I realised that the sun doesn't have to be shining to lay down lasting memories... It just takes time...

I am already aware that Owain & I do less together than we used to. But then he is a teenager with different priorities in life. Like sleeping. Also I physically do less with my younger son Ciaran than I used to with Owain. That is partly down to me being older and more tired... But it is also down to the fact that I am also significantly busier than I used to be... Some of that is inevitable, but some I have brought on myself, and I am becoming less convinced that it is worthwhile... And that it is my family that are paying the price...


The old Harry Chapin song, "Cats in the Cradle" echoes in my head... I don't want to be just like my Dad in my children's memories...




Comments

stu said…
Great post! Thanks for sharing this.

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