Dad’s Life: ‘The joys of fatherhood!’

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GABRIEL’S driving lessons are now coming thick and fast, and a test is on the horizon.

My 17-year-old son is showing definite signs of improvement and I think he’s nearly ready for the big day.

He’s putting every effort into his driving, partly because he is keen to pass his test and gain the freedom that will bring, but also because he is bored silly and has little else to do.

I’ve been landed with the lion’s share of taking the boy out on the roads, and between the minutes of mild to sheer panic, I’ve found the experience can be quite enjoyable.

I try to relax him by chatting away, and as he grows in expertise and experience, he’s starting to chat back.

We tend to drive around Wearside so he can get used to roads which may be on his test route, but last weekend we ended up in North Shields where the two of us spent an amiable hour just drinking coffee outside a cafe, talking about driving and cars. It was a lovely way to idle away some time with my ‘big lad’.

He’s extremely fortunate to have a car waiting for him, as one of his grandparents decided he’s had enough of driving and donated his aged Honda to his oldest grandchild.

It was a very generous gesture, and one that Gabriel very much appreciates.

He does, however, have a few changes planned. He’s eyeing up a more-up-to-date car stereo and he keeps asking about the cost of respraying.

I’ve told him to forget all about that until he passes his test and we know just how much it is going to cost to get him insured for the roads.

ISAAC has been away with my parents for the past few days and he’s definitely having a good time.

I know this because we’ve hardly heard from him.

If he’d been miserable, he’d have been texting or ringing several times a day.

As it is, his mum and I have shared two texts between us and had one grudging phone call which ended with the following: “I’m not being rude, but I’m enjoying watching something on the telly so I’ve got to do. Bye.”

Still I’d rather know he’s enjoying himself than him keep in constant touch.

JUST to add further salt into my wounds, Gabriel has started growing again. My wife and son now claim he is 6ft 1”.

 As he is now noticeably taller than I am I don’t really argue with him. I do, however, order him to sit everytime he comes into the room, just so any height difference is not so noticeable.

He, being a typical 17-year-old, loves the fact that he is now so much taller than his dad. And that he can now see my growing bald patch. Oh, the joys of fatherhood!

OUR annual summer holiday is now only days away. I’m already nearly packed, but the other three members of my family haven’t even started. Might only be me going then!