"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

>Shooting myself in the foot?

>Todd finally came home last Thursday after calling me from his dad’s car to say that out of the 10 kids that had auditioned to get into this new school of his, only 5 passed. And he was one of them. Although extremely proud of my son, I admit to breaking down in tears as although this is what Todd wants, it also means that I shall see less and less of him. There was a point when I thought that to be a good thing but reality has this nasty habit of jumping up and biting your arse when you least expect it.

Prior to the audition, Todd sang me his version of ‘Yesterday’ with too many gasps for air and so out of tune that I could only feel proud that he was going to stand up and sing in front of strangers. Singing in B Flat comes from my side of the family – none of us can sing, and nor can my children it seems. But Todd was so bursting with enthusiasm – and that was what was really needed to get into the school – that bugger the fact that Belgium does not have talent; this country oozes enthusiasm.

He also showed me the dance that he was going to perform which was a bit ‘stiff’ and the moves didn’t really flow from one to the other, but he must have practised quite a bit as he got through on that too. The poem and the piece of prose that Todd had to recite from memory were a doddle – so we shall see how things go as of September.

Since the boy has been home he has been very sweet. He hasn’t stayed out overnight – yet, disappears from time to time but comes home when asked and in time for supper. I do believe that my relationship with Todd can be salvaged – hell, he even tidied his bedroom and listened to my ideas to change it into a more ‘adult-looking’ bedroom so that he can have friends up there.

So that’s a brief up-date as Todd has only been home a few days and who knows what may happen between now and September. On Saturday he’s off to France with his dad and PHT and then I’ll have him for 2 weeks in August which, going by previous years, is a time where he spends most of his day trying to find friends who aren’t on holiday.

Admittedly, I am waiting for that bullet to go through my foot.
So I’ll smile and wait – hopefully for nothing.


  1. z
    Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Well done, Todd – and the fact he’s had to work for the achievement could mean he’ll appreciate it all the more. Missing him – oh yes, that’s the trouble when your children grow up and leave. The time comes when you appreciate your freedom though, and you enjoy them the more when they come back.

  2. John Norris
    Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    “But Todd was so bursting with enthusiasm …. this country oozes enthusiasm …. we shall see how things go as of September.”
    Todd has been pretty ghastly to you, and he may not have much talent for singing or dancing, but his being so enthusiastic really does make things much better. The old school simply didn’t seem to be addressing the alienation; from your accounts, I felt they had just written Todd off as incorrigible.
    If Todd can build on his enthusiasm, that is a huge plus. It is not really a question of whether he has talent at singing or whatever. Lots of people do stuff for which they have apparently no talent at all! And some who have talent never get anywhere.
    But having the gumption to get up and make it work anyway, is a real skill which can be applied in lots of situations, where it can make a real difference. That’s the bonus which is available here.
    Fingers crossed for Todd (and a plaudit for his dad as well for making the possibility happen).

  3. Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Don’t be sad. I cried for three weeks when my eldest went to Uni. You still have August when – no doubt – you will happily wave him off and from all you have chronicled about Todd this could be just what he needs.

  4. Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Glad he is enthusiastic. Hope the school makes a difference, and you don’t have to wait twenty years for him to grow up.

  5. Posted Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Oh, I SO hope everything goes well for Todd – and you, by extension, because when our kids are content, we parents are content. I send you all lots of good wishes!

  6. Posted Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Hopefully this’ll give him the focus to get off his arse and get himself into gear and moving forward from here on in – fingers crossed.

  7. Posted Friday, July 3, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I’ve missed out on so much of your news recently. It’s hard to let go but it’s wonderful he’s found something he really wants to do. It’s amazing how quickly you adjust to them not being there. Christian has been in England for 6 years already and I feel perfectly ‘normal’ about it – that doesn’t sound to great but I’m happy he’s happy.

  8. Posted Friday, July 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I think one of the things about music, drama, some sports and so on is not really about the quality of the performance, but the fact that teenagers get a chance to work together with a common aim.
    They get to learn in reality that structure, rules and discipline are a good thing, and they experience the benefits of practice and hard work.
    Most of us don’t go on to do anything constructive in those areas, but the lessons learned at a time when we actually resent rules and want to be different are really valuable for life.

  9. Posted Friday, July 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Gert, what a brilliant point – something that I hadn’t really thought of in that context.
    Thank you – you have really eased my mind. xxx