I’m sure every alienated parent has a favourite possession that reminds them of their alienated child: that one tangible keepsake they cling to in the absence of any contact. Well, I certainly hope this is the case – it would be very sad if an alienated parent (or any family member for that matter) was deprived of this.
My keepsake is my alienated son Tom’s cuddle bear. Before I go on, I have a confession. When I first became alienated from Tom I put anything connected to him into storage. I was so hurt and sad, and overwhelmed with pain and emptiness, I didn’t want any reminders in my home. Even my laptop was cleared of anything related to Tom – everything was stored on an external hard drive which was also put into storage. With the passage of time I feel totally ashamed at my actions. At the time though, it was a matter of self-preservation, I needed to get on with my life as best I could.
Daddy La La was a cuddle bear I purchased for Tom when I was co-parenting him. Tom loved his Daddy La La and often became visibly distressed if he could not hold his cuddle bear. I also noticed when Tom became tired, he would suck his thumb and simultaneously hold Daddy La La with the same hand. Even at a young age my little Boo Boo was quite dextrous.
So how important was Daddy La La to Tom – have a look at the video and you’ll see.
When Tom and I became alienated in 2010, his Daddy La La ended up living with me. In the intervening 9-years or so, this little cuddle bear has been everywhere with me. Most notably: work assignments in Laos and other mines in Western Australia, and numerous trips to the USA. Daddy La La is quite the adventurer, summiting 30+ Coloradan 13ers and 14ers, not to mention numerous 11ers and 12ers. Most notably, Daddy La La has been to the summit of Mount Elbert, which at 4401 metres (14,440 feet), is the highest elevation in Colorado.
Daddy La La will be accompanying me on the AT during my thru-hike – this way I can stay connected to my alienated son Tom. I’m sure you will see us on trail at some stage, so stop by and say hello to us.