I was told by a friend to grow up recently. He was probably right. But I figure if I haven’t ‘grown up’ by now it’s unlikely to happen.
I’m still waiting to turn into my dad. The adult. The serious one. The one who pays the bills, complains about spending too much money, stresses about school fees and the mortgage, and is obsessive about turning off lights.
Ok that does sound a bit like me.
I’m 44 going on 25. I still want to go out every Saturday night, catch up with friends, have a few drinks, go for a dance, be a bit silly.
Yes I’ve matured. I’ve aged. I don’t read comics. Nor do I have an interest in cartoons. My tastes have changed. I’m a bit more refined. A bit more cultured. I know what I like and what I don’t. I’ve got kids, responsibilities, too many bills, a massive workload and a gammit of stresses.
But I’ll still ask you to pull my finger when I’ve got a fart brewing.
I’m often grumpy. Regularly pissed at my kids. Annoyed at my wife. And angry I’m picking up dog shit. I’m under appreciated, under valued and apparently feeling sorry for myself.
But I’m never going to stop playing The Floor is Lava.
I’m ready for my kids to move out. Everyone says;
“cherish them while you have them”.
“it will pass so quickly. They’ll be out before you know it”
“you will miss them when they’re gone”.
I told them last night I’m kicking them out as soon as I’m legally allowed. They said “good luck with that one” as they shoved me out their room and slammed the door.
There will be tears when they leave. Tears of joy as I lock up the house, pick up my wife, and head off into the sunset. A couple of spirited young lovers travelling the globe in drunken splendour. Reliving our youth. Finally driving our car off a cliff as dementia kicks in. She is Thelma, I Louise.
She just told me there is more chance of her throwing me off a cliff .
I’m being conned by my kids at every opportunity. Relieved of any coins I make the misfortune of leaving out. My drawers pillaged every time I leave the house. As experienced when they found my condom stash.
I’m being pestered every 6 weeks for a new pair of shoes. They are obsessed with sports shoes – I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m encouraging this obsession. I’m thrilled they have an interest outside of Fortnite. I’ve never seen such enthusiasm. My boys discuss, trade and research all manner of Lebron’s, Air Jordans, Kyrie’s, Ultra Boost’s and Yeezy’s.
I was in awe listening to them having a measured and articulate conversation about the merits and shortfalls of certain shoes. I went downstairs to tell my wife. It was the first hint of maturity. I was kvelling.
10mins later Zak (11) is in a headlock ferociously reaching for Max’s crotch as they exchanged expletives and punches.
It was nice while it lasted.
My kids are no different to yours. They are finding their way. Making mistakes as they do it. Learning right from wrong. Testing and trying.
This week an Australian boy Drew, 12 years old, made international headlines after he took his mum’s credit card and used it to buy flights to Bali, after being told he could not go. He tried several airlines before Jetstar allowed him to board.
He checked into a hotel, hired and rode a scooter and drank a beer on the beach as his parents frantically searched for him.
Neil Mitchell from 3AW called him a future fraudster and a conman and derided his actions.
Putting aside for a moment the obvious dangers and the unknown family dynamics I applaud this kid.
It’s easy to dismiss him as a ‘naughty’ but at 12 years old to have the the strength of character, the toughness of spirit, the strong-mindedness, resilience, nerve and fearlessness that an international trip like this would take is nothing short of amazing.
I hope someone sees in him the gift that is there and mentors him to a bright future.
My kids, on the other hand, are lighting farts and putting deepheat in my shampoo bottle.
I have a zest for life and a spirit for adventure. I want to jump out a plane (again) and do another bungy jump. I like being out of my comfort zone and experiencing new things.
I want to play jazz piano in a bar and I’m going to get another tatoo.
Maybe I’m in the middle of a mid life crisis.
Well whatever it is I hope I never really ‘grow up’ and I encourage you to do the same.
So next time you pass a laundrette do the right thing.
Jump inside a dryer. You’ve got to try it once.