Stuff 4 - Plastic Slide Whistle:

Apologies in advance if you were expecting the usual whimsical nonsense, normal service will be resumed tomorrow or maybe the day after.

Today’s picture troubles me. It troubles me so much that I have used a different methodology than I normally use to write about it.

Today’s object is usually sitting in a prominent position on a top shelf in my living room. With this one I feel the need to choose my words carefully. Because today I am dealing with the subject of divorce.

Picture the scene, I was attending the summer fete at my Children’s First School in 2003, my Sons were both also there, but were with their Mum that day. My five year old Son spots me & runs a few yards across the playground to greet me. "Daddy I missed your birthday, I have a present for you". He didn’t understand what was going on, how could he?

Harry handed me a cheap plastic, slide whistle that he had just bought himself at the fete.

Now we get to the bit that I have struggled with. Divorce is always painful, back then it blew me apart for at least five years. There was anger on both sides, there were mistakes on both sides, there was wrong on both sides. But when in the process all I saw and felt was my own pain. The rejection that I felt & the affects of it on me. All you feel is your own sense of hurt & your own sense of moral outrage.

I have spoken to both my sons on this subject over recent weeks and months, because so many years later, as is natural my perspective has changed and both Boys have asked me about it. The truth with divorce is that the only people who ever really win are the Lawyers, everyone else is just mitigating losses. If you are not careful, you can get caught up with the fighting, maybe even get a sick pleasure out of it at the time.

My five year old son, handing me a cheap plastic whistle, jolted me back to reality. Reminded me what was actually important. These days I try to be kind to myself about my role in what was the worst, most turbulent time of my life, where I made many mistakes.

Love whatever it’s form should be unconditional & I see it again when I look at this whistle.


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