Dad’s Life: ‘What days, hours, or minutes will they be?’

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FIFTEEN-year-old Gabriel has 15 days left at school before his study leave starts.

It’s amazing to think that the date when he can officially leave school is so close.

He is staying on to do A-levels, but it’s another step on his long ladder to adulthood.

It is hard to get away from the fact that his GCSEs are so close.

My wife has laminated his exam timetable and copies have been liberally scattered around our house. Yes, she is paranoid.

A friend of our’s daughter mistook a pm for an am and missed a whole exam, so my wife is taking every precaution to ensure Gabriel will at least turn up on time.

Whether he’s taking every precaution to ensure exam success is another matter.

He continues to claim that he’s revising really hard. We continue to wonder when.

I OFTEN wonder what it will be about their childhoods that my boys will remember.

Most of my childhood memories are of holidays with my family, and the vast majority of my memories are very happy ones.

But what will Gabriel and Isaac remember of the years they’re living through now?

They’ll probably think they’ll remember it all, and perhaps with Facebook galleries and the like they’ll have the visual prompts to recall more than I can about what happened 30-odd years ago.

But their memories will fade over time, leaving only a few snatches of days long gone. What days, hours, or minutes will they be?

Isaac’s memories of life at our old house – we moved three years ago – are no longer so clear, while Gabriel has only one memory left of the house we left when he was three.

I would hope that a meal we shared last week will stay with them.

The four of us had been to Isaac’s school to learn about a trip to Italy he’s going on in May.

Instead of picking up fish and chips on the way home, we decided we’d call in to a Chinese restaurant instead.

Both boys were on great form, fun and friendly, and for once enjoying each other’s company. In short, we had a great night.

Back at the house, the usual petty squabbles and arguments arose, but for an hour or so they’d almost been mates.

I wonder if that meal will be one of the things they will remember from their childhood.

Probably not, but I know I’ll remember it for quite a while.