I haven’t seen Laura for weeks. I think this is one of the longest periods we’ve gone without meeting up in our fifteen years of friendship. A number of factors have conspired to keep us apart – my operation, the recent birth of Laura’s son Leo, and the weather. But today we overcame all the obstacles and at last got the chance to catch up, and I was able to meet Leo for the first time.
Laura, Leo and her fifteen-month-old daughter Ruby arrived just after lunch. The four of us hung out at the castle all afternoon. We both agreed that trying to venture further afield would be a practical impossibility. It was lovely to sit and chat with Laura, play with Ruby and cuddle Leo. My friendship with Laura is a long and close one. Being with her feels easy and I’ve really missed seeing her in the last few weeks.
Some new mums might be worried seeing their newborn nestled in the arms of someone with Tourettes, but if Laura felt any concern it certainly didn’t show. Leo seemed to like the constant gentle wiggling and unconventional lullabies that came with being held by me. While I was holding him, Ruby was enjoying a game of flopping into the giant bean bags strategically located around the castle for when I have a ‘ticcing fit’. At one point she came over to kiss her brother and to hold my wiggly leg still, which made me laugh. She did it gently and instinctively, placing her tiny hand on top of my vibrating foot and pushing it until it stopped moving.
During the afternoon Laura asked me to be Leo’s godmother. I felt very honoured and can’t think of a role I’d like more. My tics immediately gave Leo a run-down of all the things I’d be teaching him. This included everything he’d ever need to know about donkeys, how to use shampoo, and a great deal about dead celebrities. Laura seemed reassured that she’d made the right choice. When I told Leftwing Idiot later he said ‘So you’re going to be his sweary godmother.’ This will definitely be the case.
I’m aware of my tics in almost every area of my life almost all the time, but today was one of a handful of days that shifted Tourettes way into the background.
Thank you, Laura, Leo and Ruby for a day full of small things that gave me lots of joy.