Google+ Badge

Friday, 19 October 2012

Boys don't cry. Swimming up Cavan.

I have made the boy cry. His sisters, who would not give him a fraction of an inch in argument, tell me so in perplexed unease, as though I have breached a female code of ethics, and I have.

After  an interesting parent teacher meeting and yet another argument about the X Box, . I resorted to letter  writing. Talking  was just  not working. He whisks out  a fine three card trick of noise, obfuscation and denial before you  reach the second  sentence. He had to be reached somehow. It is an exam year. So...I wrote him a letter and I did not pull any punches. I covered everything,  from what he was refusing to do, to where it would end, and what I  now expected him to do. No negotiation. Consequences spelt out. I expanded  on to a number of home truths he had been refusing to hear for some time. The pen, as it turns out was  mightier than the sword, and I feel a little stabbed to the heart myself, now.

My husband adapts a bracing tone and says good will come of it.  Maybe. But, he is a man and does not get the vast store of pity harboured  by women everywhere for male vulnerability,  for the raw and ragged heart beating under every manly rib cage.. A bit of excavation under the  testosterone, the singlemindedness, the fascination with facts, gadgets,  and there it beats.

At the weekend we drive up North to my husband's country. A day of sunlit grace, we keep to the back roads,  quiet and colonised by autumn trees, red orange and rust leaves drifting onto the road. An unfolding carpet of green fields flow close past the windscreen. The trees  are an   impossibly gorgeous riot  of colour. I drink it in like wine as we chat, as though it was a scarce beauty,  of numbered days. I have reached that age.

My husband, a scarce beauty himself, is king of the back roads. He will not travel on the motorway if he can help it. He says you glide like a fish down the impossibly narrow roads he makes for, a homing pidgeon, when we reach his native Cavan. I have decided to trust him, just about, with  stray  oncoming cars, gliding swiftly, incomprehensibly  past  us without collision. Safe  as houses.