Why don't my parents see me as a capable adult?: Alun Newman

BBC Radio Solent’s mid-morning show host is a big kid again

Friday, 12th July 2019, 5:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 1:28 pm
Alun Newman and Lou Hannan host BBC Radio Solent's mid-morning show

I stayed at my parents’ house in Guildford last week.

And as I was without children, I decided I would walk part of the North Downs Way.

I pitched the idea to my dad who, without pausing for breath, declared I would need one of his Ordnance Survey maps.

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But in order to receive the map I had some challenges. Firstly, could I find where we were on the map? No. Dad was delighted. Could I find the ancient trail I intended to walk? No. Dad less delighted and a bit surprised. Could I measure the potential distance simply using the gap between my little finger and index finger? No, and dad now frustrated.

As I prepared to leave mum appeared with two muesli bars and asked if I wanted to borrow a hat. I began to wonder whether they were mistaking this moment for my first day at a new school.

I advised that I was nearly 50 and was going to be okay. I knew that if I didn’t leave soon they’d be walking me to the end of the road and waving.

As I opened the front door my mum realised that I may potentially die if I didn’t have an apple and made a dash for the fruit bowl. Too late, I was out of the door and on my way. As I left the driveway dad shouted that I could call him at any time for a lift should I get too tired.

My reflection while walking was this. I could have felt frustrated. Why didn’t they see me as a capable, intelligent man? Why is it that they haven’t moved on and let me go? I felt none of those things, instead I felt as if I had come back for a pit stop at a spiritual home and I felt loved, really, really, loved.