The last day

I know I haven’t posted in a while but this is a big day.  Huge.  Ginormous.  Gigantisaurus.  You get the picture.  It is a day that was twelve years in the making.  For a guy who can’t sit through the first ten minutes of Up, I’m surprisingly non-emotional about the whole thing.  All I feel is immense pride.  Dude wrote his final high school exam today and even though the results will only be available in a month from now, I know that it was his last day of high school. SHIT!

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Dashing like his father

Maybe I am slightly emotional. Give me a minute.

*Returning a day later with red eyes and thirty seven empty tissue boxes and a desperate need for a plumber.  Too much tissues can result in clogging.  Who knew?*

Dude, I have written countless posts on what you mean to us and how you’ve changed our lives. Technically you would be able to count them but it sounds more affectionate if I create the impression that there were more than ten posts about you.  The general theme has always been about how great you turned out because of our excellent parenting skills.  And the grace of God.

Jokes aside.  Looking at you, I’m astonished at what you have accomplished in such a short time you’ve been on this planet.  Your high school career is a testimony to that.  You’ve overcome challenges, made friends and broke hearts.  Albeit mine.  This was an hectic year.  You turned legal, you got your driver’s license, you attended prom, you finished high school… Eighteen must seem like such a big number to you but believe me, this is only the beginning.  You have reach the end of this chapter and now you stand on the brink of a new one.  It feels like yesterday when I wrote a post about high school and now you’re going off to university. WTF!

It’s painful to think that you would be leaving our nest soon and the thought of not having you sharing daily clips and hugs and stories is pretty daunting.  Thankfully you’re not there yet and we can keep all that emotion for another post.  This post is simply a celebration at the end of an era.  I must admit, I tried my best to bribe the headmaster in an attempt to keep you for another year but she’s a tough cookie and in the end we simply couldn’t afford her final number.  What did you do?

Dude, you are one amazing human being.   Words fail me every time.  The best son any parent could hope for.  We couldn’t be more proud even if we tried.  The hard work is done, so go and enjoy that last holiday with all your mates.  Have fun and stay safe.

Fortunately I still have a couple of weeks to torture you with parental stuff.

Love ya.

He inspired me.

Most of us would agree that a big part of being a parent is to motivate, encourage, support and inspire our kids, especially when life decided to throw a few lemons their way.  It’s our duty to make sure they get up again after that bump on the knee.  Or the punch on the chin.  We run when they fall from the swing and clean up the wound, apply the bandage and wipe their tears.  Sending them off with words of encouragement so they can get back on that swing.  It’s true what Wife says, “A parent is only as happy as their unhappiest child.

But there are rare occurrences when the roles of parenthood is reversed.  When your kid lifts his mask and reveal a small glimpse of the man (or woman) they are destined to become… Continue reading

Dude is funny

One of my life goals have been achieved.  I have kept my training regime long enough to allow Dude to catch up and reach the age where he can finally join me in my daily trips to the gym without making it seem like child abuse.  The one thing I didn’t expect was to age at least ten years as soon as I walked in with a teenager by my side.  I wanted to introduce Dude as a friend of mine but friends don’t call friends “Dad”.  At least not in the circles I move in.  He blew my cover in the first few seconds.  I suppose I should feel flattered that people were surprised to learn of my fifteen year-old son.  Or maybe I should be insulted?  The jury is still out on that one.

I cherish and savor these moments of alone time with him more than he would ever know.  Now I’m gonna man up, grow a pair and drop all this sentimental shenanigans… Continue reading

This is bad. This is really, really bad.

Hey Dude, listen up.  Your father is about to bestow some wisdom onto you. This is important information that men have shared through generations, even before the time when dragons flew across the sky and Cersei Lannister was a bitch.  In an ancient time before PlayStation 4 was distracting boys from their real purpose in life, which is to find a nice, decent, preferably rich, mother for my grandchildren.  Leave that remote, as I’m only going to say this once, then I’ll write it down so you can read it as often as you like.

Men are simple creatures and I know this first hand.  Evolution hasn’t made significant changes to the male version of Homo Sapiens, mainly because we were perfect to begin with. Continue reading

An inefficient use of the word “proud”.

As soon as the nurse plucks that red, screaming infant from his mother’s womb and place him/her in your arms you become a Dad.  It’s an immediate association.  You go from the awkward guy in scrubs to a father instantaneously.  With a sudden awareness that it is now your responsibility of raising this little, screaming thing, who some would say, look just like you. If you were screaming at the top of your lungs like your life depended on it.  For boob-food.

And so it continues.  You take him home and try to make sure that he is fed, burped, dry, clean, warm or whatever other thing that might cause that dead-raising-bawl.   The howling noise that make all men nervous.  Continue reading

Death and cancer bring things into perspective.

Streetluge was their passion.  The thrill of cruising at ridiculous speeds down steep hills, maneuvering around tight corners was unexplainable to mortal men.  It was an adrenalin rush second to none.  Father and Son was getting ready for another run on a perfect summer’s day. They checked their gear and Dad adjusted his Go-Pro camera; they were ready to roll.  They have done several hills like this one and the excitement was tangible.  There was a high-five and off they went.  His son went first.  Adrenalin surged through their bodies, almost blinding them, making them scream out of pure exhilaration.

His son’s board slipped.  His head hit the road.  Very hard.  Much too hard.  The board didn’t stop.  His son did.  Continue reading

Ah Dad, a Dude @ Da Concert in Durban.

It’s no secret I love the Script.  I mean I really, really, really do.  The Wife understands.  My friends understand.  Dude has known all along.  He is also a fan, but I’m not sure he would use the word love in the same context as I do.  But if love implies devotion, admiration, loyalty, support and paying someone to spend time with them, well then I love them.

Why are we waiting!  Why are we waiting!

Why are we waiting! Why are we waiting!

The Script kicked off their latest world tour in sunny South Africa.  They played in Jo’burg, Durban and Cape Town over the past weekend.  Tickets for the Durban show moved faster than the food at a lunch buffet at the opening of parliament.  I got two of those.  For the Dude and I. Continue reading

Who are you? And where’s my Son?

 

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“Hi dad.  How was your day?” He said as I walked through the door.

I dropped my bag with a loud CLANG.  My first instinct was to rush forward, take the little imposter by the throat and spread his legs against the wall, demanding to know where my beloved Son was being held hostage.  Fortunately I kept my cool for a second and remembered that we are getting these chirpy greetings more often.  And we like it.  So maybe we should just accept this person who is using Son’s body.

You see, the oddity of his behaviour is based on the fact that, listening to other parents of teenagers, he should only growl.  He should act like a wounded animal, hiding away in the dark.  Only coming out to feed on the raw meat we throw at him, and hope he doesn’t bite your head or arm off in the process.  But Son is proving the theory wrong.  He actually formed a personality.

Continue reading

A letter to my 12 year-old son

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To my dearest son

I am writing this letter to you because of an old cliché, the one that says you are growing up to fast.  The sad thing about this statement is that it is true.  Last week you were laughing loudly in your crib, yesterday you started school and in a couple of weeks you will be turning 13.

You will enter the gates of adolescence to spend the next five years in the darkest ages of human development…Being a teenager.  In order for you to maintain some kind of humanity, whilst searching and struggling to find yourself, I though it to be a good idea to jot a few things down, almost like building lighthouses, preventing you and I from connecting like a rocky shore and a sailing ship.  It will steer you into calm waters.

Remember that our age difference will always remain the same, and that five additional years is less than 10% to my current tally.  In your case you will be 40% older.  So the person who will be changing dramatically is you, not me.  So another five years in my life wouldn’t constitute the definition of an old man.  You know, the type of dad teenagers consider ancient and outdated, those who doesn’t understand life and everything in it.  Yes, I agree the times when I grew up might have been easier and different to yours, but the personal conflicts remain exactly the same.

You have never been bothered with peer pressure.  Your view has always remained strong and true  and your actions spoke of your heart, please don’t let friends and influences change that.  Always remain yourself, don’t ignore the man in the mirror, and even though it might not feel so at the time, there will always be  people who will like and respect you for standing up against the masses.

Remember the nights when you called me into your room under false pretences so that you can ambush me on your bed, and it turned into a tickle/wrestling/laughing match.  And remember all the Superheroes movies we watched together with you sitting on my lap.  And remember all the epic fail YouTube video’s we laughed at.  You spoilt me with your attention, I cannot fathom losing it now.  Remember when it was still cool to hang out with dad.

You always tell your stories with so much excitement that you require at least an area of three square metres to do it effectively.  You showed us the moves and tackles of the rugby games or flew around when describing your favourite scene from Ironman 3.  Don’t loose it, ever.  Tell your stories with all your heart and act them out if need be.  You are our entertainment and your lack of inhibition is refreshing and amazing and funny all at the same time.

We had no secrets.  Since you could speak you have told us everything.  We know of your heartaches, your joy, your disappointments and your ambitions, don’t stop now.  We might not have the answer, we might not have a solution, but now this, we will listen, and we will always have your back.  No.matter.what.

Time is a ruthless concept.  It doesn’t allow people to linger in moments of awesomeness.  It doesn’t allow us to stretch those moments that we wish could last forever.  But the Lord gave us children.  And looking at you, experiencing life through your eyes has made it possible to be young again, to have a fresh breeze blow over older bones.  To be able to dream and get excited about small things, is your gift to us.

Know that whatever issues we may face as a teenager/parent; I can never be more proud of you.  Know that any decision me and mom will make will be based on our love for you.  On what we think is the best for you.  And yes we will listen, and yes we now times are changing, and yes we might not understand, but remember that we love and protect you, even if you don’t like it.  Know that there will be times when you deem us unreasonable.  And when you feel lost, home is where we will be waiting for you.

You and your sister are our greatest achievements and we cannot be more proud, and there are no parents on earth who love their kids as much as we love you.

So be true to yourself, stay strong and stuff your backpack full of the things you know and cherish, take the roadmap that we have been drawing together over the last 12 years with you and you will be more than fine in that maze of adolescence.  And so will we.

Your loving parents

Mom and Dad.