Steven makes a noise. I wish I could find the right adjective to describe it. The nearest I can get to is to liken it to a deep, purring sound. I know what it signifies though. It is the sound of complete contentment. It’s my favourite noise in the whole world.
The purr rang out several times over this Easter weekend. Yesterday Steven was watching an Erasure video on his own. When Andy and Vince got on to their version of Everyone’s Got To Learn Sometime, the purr travelled from the living room down to the kitchen where I was cleaning the grill pan. I approached that dirty job with renewed heart.
The long weekend has also thrown up three delightful smile moments. Melancholic fool that I am, I often find myself ruining a smile moment with thoughts of “what might have been.”
For example, yesterday, with the sun out, I suggested to Steven that he move from sweatshirts to t shirts. He chose a brown, florally pattern one that I’d recently got from Premier Man. The support worker was dead impressed. “Wow. What a great shirt, Steve. You look very handsome.” Steven broke into a huge smile. He has sufficient vanity to be chuffed by a compliment about his appearance. I couldn’t let the compliment rest there. My mind immediately went back to 2010 and all those times I visited Steven and found him in someone else’s clothes, several sizes too small. The social worker dismissed my concerns with, “That’s your issue, Mark. Steven isn’t bothered by clothes.” He was. He is.
Second smile. We were doing our compilation tape on Saturday afternoon. Amongst Steven’s birthday CDs was one of Jason Donovan singing his favourite songs of the 1980s. The track Steven chose for the tape was Jason’s take on “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight.” We’ve got a long standing joke around that song. In a 1999 episode of Coronation Street, Steve McDonald performed the song in the Rovers in the style of the pub singer. Whenever Steven hears the tune, he demands, “Dad. Put Steve McDonald’s voice in your mouth” and I do my impression. It’s a maximum purr moment. I love it, but I ruin the moment by the thought, who will do the Steve McDonald impersonation when I’m no longer around? (I’ve been having those thoughts a lot over the last few months).
The third smile? ITV3 have devoted the entire Easter weekend to the Carry On films. Yesterday, we settled down to watch Carry On Doctor. It’s got that scene where Barbara Windsor goes to sunbathe on the roof and Jim Dale mistakenly thinks she’s about to throw herself off and goes to rescue her. He gets stuck on the roof and needs rescuing by the fire brigade. It’s always been Steven’s favourite scene and he likes making jokes about “rooftop dramas.” Yesterday’s joke was, “Kenneth Williams, you can’t take your big white book (that’s a reference to Kenny’s published diaries that sit on my bookshelf) up on the roof. Fireman might make your book all Wet with his water hose.” Steven thinks his own jokes are very funny and skips off to the kitchen, laughing his head off. I’m getting better. I didn’t hose that moment down with my own melancholy.
One final Easter moment. Steven had two eggs: A Celebrations egg and a Rolo one. We could hear Steven ripping open both boxes in the kitchen and Francis called out, “Are you going to share your egg with me and Dad?”
We were each presented with a solitary Rolo.