Dad’s Life: Sad week in our house

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THERE was a lot of tension in our house as the boys went back to school this week.

Fifteen-year-old Gabriel was returning to GCSE exams in his first week back.

His version of revision and mine differ somewhat.

According to his, he’d done masses of work, according to mine he’d done very little. Time will tell who was right.

It is a massive year for my eldest son.

He’ll continue to sit his GCSEs and hopefully go on to sixth form. It is a year that will help shape the rest of his life.

He is well aware of this, but to his great credit, has responded in a calm, sensible way.

He has an idea of what career he wants to pursue and has completed a significant amount of online research into what A-levels he will need.

He has also spoken to his school, but wasn’t impressed with what they had to say. On completion of a long survey and interview, it was suggested to him that journalism would be a good career.

I said nothing, but his dismissive use of the word ‘journalism’ summed up what he thought of the school’s advice.

What has surprised me is the amount of time Gabriel has spent talking to his mum and I about his future.

He has always been a self-sufficient young man, happy in his own skin and satisfied with his own judgement and take on things.

But in this area, he has been keen to talk, actively seeking our involvement, support and advice.

I’ve always preferred proper conversation to grunts.

* * *

A SAD week in the Lawson household.

Our 17-year-old cat Momo made her final visit to the vets. She didn’t come home with me.

A good-natured, friendly cat, Momo was an ever-present in the lives of my boys.

Both were, in their own individual way, at a loss over her death.

Gabriel was very subdued, very quiet, while Isaac’s emotions were more obvious.

As I said to both of them, learning to cope with bereavement is just part of growing up. And with every respect to them and our much-missed moggy, I’d far rather them learn the lesson about a pet than a family member or friend.

* * *

We have a tradition in our family that on your birthday, you get taken to the restaurant of your choice.

True to form, Gabriel has had us to some of the most expensive Indian restaurants in the region.

Isaac has been less fussy - until his birthday in late December.

Up until then Isaac was delighted to be taken to Burger King, but last month he decided we had to go to a Chinese.

My fortune cookie tells me son number two will be as expensive as son number one.

Rob Lawson