Yeah I had the highs, the first years I could handle it, at least I thought I could, I enjoyed the highs, all my friends were doing it, yeah, the baby years were fun. There was the days, first tumbling crawl, the wobbly walk, the multi coloured kaleidescope of the supersonic puke - as an aside projectile vomiting should be used in war theatres or at least paintball competitions. There was first day at schools, will they make friends? Will they be bullied, will they get the grades, will they...? Then slowly but surely there were the not so good school reports, the possible bullying, the friends from hell, and ......the wage packet divided by four, the one holiday perhaps per year, the pub visits got less, the sunday footie got less, the waist line got bigger, the hairline got higher.
Now I am about to be a father of a teenager, my son has morphed from a loving bubbly kid into something that God fearing folks carry pitchforks to herd to the nearest duckpond, by God the hormones are travelling. The signs are there, signs as in the arguments over rights to privacy. The right to be unclean, that at present extrapolation, I will probably need to buy him a bell for public appearances. His thumbs have formed an alliance to a Playstation console that questions the need for most other digits in man's evolution. His plates are left dirty piled on discarded DVDs or CDs or whatever was left from yesterday's so-called tasks. We fear for the mould that may be spreading under the camouflage of hard cash wrapped up in books and magazines that may never be read or see a dustbin for many a year.
I am frightened that his legs will become weak, muscles will deteriorate except for the thumbs, his mind weakened by war with wounds in his digital world.
The day is drawing when the playstation will be removed, as the rise of the hormones charts the cascade into poor grades - a punishment, a pardigm shift, a learning opportunity is necessary as the thumbs must be re-adjusted to hold a pen. The hormones will cause a rage against the parental machine. Fellow parents the news fom the front is the Battle of the playstation is won, the war has just begun.
He may hate me now, but one day he may say "well looking back ...perhaps...ok..thankyou." Dreaming on from the Trenches.