I broke my blogging rule regarding family matters last month. Originally, the intention was to forewarn Fletch and the kids if I was intending to write about them, but that went out the window when I posted a story about Fletch’s addiction to the Catch of the Day website – without his prior knowledge. Thankfully he didn’t mind.
So I figured, once a personal rule is broken, it no longer exists – right? Which meant I started writing a story about my 15-year-old son without him knowing, only to find he is SO much more sensitive about that concept than his father.
I WAS going to write about how well he’d done at school this year and how hard he’d studied for his exams, which are now over. In particular, I wanted to draw attention to the fact that he is developing beautifully as a writer and I am often filled with wonder and delight when I read his work. The way he’s going, I wouldn’t be surprised if he publishes a book before me.
With that in mind, here’s the conversation that ensued when I approached Tom to take a photograph. I always like to keep Blog photos as recent as possible – as any journo knows, it kills a story if the pictures are dated.
‘No, you can’t take my photo, Mum,’ he said, running for his bed and diving into it face down, pulling the sheet off the mattress.
‘Oh, come on….’ I pleaded. ‘I need a recent one for a Blog.’
‘What’s it about?’
‘It’s about what a brilliant writer you are.’
‘I’m not a brilliant writer. That’s not even interesting. You can’t do a Blog on me. Especially photos. What about privacy?’
‘You put your own photos on Facebook all the time, plus you have already let me use photos of you from a family holiday earlier and now you’re more than six foot tall and fifteen years old, I think you’ll be safe.’ I said, well aware he was looking for excuses. ‘Let’s do a selfie!’ I squealed, snapping away, my inner-paparazzi relishing the challenge.
Hmm, that’s obviously a completely embarrassing idea. He jumped off the bed, grabbing his pillow as camouflage. Before whacking me with it. And starting a pillow fight. Which isn’t fair because he’s now taller and stronger than me.
I think the photo sequence that follows speaks for itself…
He has the final word.
I gave up. Sometimes I really feel for the paparazzi.
But I lie. There’s no way I’m giving him the final word. As if. One last story before I sign off to explain why I know Tom will be a writer. Or a journalist.
Off all his essays, in particular, I loved the biography he wrote after interviewing his Grandma. He described how his Great-Gran left England, ‘inhaling deeply as she boarded the gang-plank to the ship, as if taking a last breath from her homeland to her new country.’
‘Beautiful’ I murmured, as I read that line, sighing with the poetic impression of it all. ‘Except Tom,’ I said, ‘that you know your Great-Gran was born in Australia. She never set foot on a ship leaving from England.’
‘ Yeah, ‘ ‘I know’ he said, shrugging nonchalantly. ‘It just made for a better story.’