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!

fb_img_15432520370117035663065321903491.jpg

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.

Advertisements

Driving Mr Daisy

In South Africa kids have to be 18 before they can get a driver’s permit.  And even if they get it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can drive, it merely means that they passed an assessment that tested their ability to parallel park without any other cars present, not stalling the vehicle and keeping the car on the road at the required legal speed.  This test doesn’t teach them the subtle nuances of driving that a person acquire over many years.

The important driving skills like how to flick a bird at the stupid driver who cuts you off and which are the appropriate swear words to use when the driver in the fast lane is either looking for parking or just simply prefers to drive at the speed of a dying snail.  Not to mention the important ability of selecting a great playlist in preparation for a road trip.

Irrespective of what Dude may know or doesn’t know about driving, he still managed to pass the test last week on his first attempt, and no-one was more surprised proud than his dad.  He is now a legal driver on the roads of the world because contrary to popular belief, a South African driver’s permit does allows you to drive ANYWHERE you want to.  Except on the pavement.  The problem with this newfound ability and sense of freedom is that even though he has the legal document to operate a motor vehicle, he is yet to own said motor vehicle.

Now just calm down and here me out before you start blaming me for not providing the child with a car.  The reality of him reaching the legal age for driving in South Africa came at me faster than Superman when he hears Lois is in trouble.  And then the actual date for the test came even faster.  I’m not stupid, I knew he was going for his license, I was the one who had to pay some poor driving instructor who had to sit through the terror and anxiety of teaching him how to drive.  We did the basics but due to the fact that an instructor who leaves claw marks on the dashboard and has difficulty in releasing blood-curdling screams every three minutes should rather quit whilst he is ahead.  Which is what I did. And then I got a professional. And it worked.

Back to the fact that I have a serious problem excepting Dude is growing up.  Wait. What?  Yes I do.  I have a really hard time accepting that the Dude will be leaving the house at the end of the year.  There are so many things happening, very quickly.  He calls these achievements milestones and I call them landmark heartaches.  It’s just easier to ignore them, to be like an ostrich with its head in the sand.  Avoid the inevitable.  I’m trying to ignore how much I am going to miss that damn kid when he’s gone.

Hence my reluctance in getting him a car. I’m a selfish bastard.  I feel like me giving him a car is just me giving him permission to spread his wings a little more, to explore a little further, to be just that little bit more independent.  I’m giving him permission to go and live his life with less of me in it.  And that is probably one of the toughest things a parent will have to do in their entire life.

For the moment he is basically taking over driving duties in our house.  If someone even hints about going somewhere he volunteers to drive.  It’s weird to be the passenger because I still see my boy behind the steering wheel, not the young man who is chatting, listening to music and having the time of his life, as he is Driving Mr Daisy.

But don’t worry, I’ve agreed to go car shopping this weekend. Under duress of course.

He likes big romantic gestures.

They say the best time to write something is when you’re emotional because it allows you to focus all your energy, so you don’t end up sobbing in front of collegues.  I’m not sure who “they” are but it works for me.

Most of you might understand the rollercoaster ride I’ve been on lately, i.e coming to terms with Dude leaving the house at the end of this year.  Fortunately for me, life is making it easy, reminding me of numerous milestones he’s reaching throughout the year.  Little signals that taunt my soul.  Like him turning eighteen or him being accepted by a university, albeit a provisional acceptance, or him asking a girl to be his date at the prom.

Their high school only allows final year students to attend this annual event, so there is a lot of compulsory pairing going on at the moment.  And it’s a big thing. Like a wedding.  But without the cake and the bridesmaids and the white dress and the in-laws and the church and the honeymoon.  Maybe it’s nothing like a wedding…

Dudes have it easy when it comes to putting together an outfit.  They need a suit, a tie, comb their hair, splash on deodorant and Bob’s your uncle.  Unless you’re offended by the name Bob, then Tim could be your uncle.  But if Bob was married to your mother’s sister then he will remain your uncle, irrespective if you like the name or not.  Where was I?

Oh yes.  Dude. And prom.

The only other thing Dudes need to worry about is the transport.  And since my Dude’s father owns an SUV,  the father in question has not been asked to play chauffeur.  I’m slightly offended.  Who wouldn’t want to drive to the ball in a SUV?  I’ll even wash it for them.  Or maybe just get it washed.  He is still looking for an alternative.

What got me writing this post was the photo of the happy couple after she said yes.  Which I never doubted for a second…

36547146_1794554933957814_7517627639264182272_n

Pretty people.

I got a little teary eye because he made an effort.  He did something original.  They have been friends since the beginning of time and everybody sort of knew they would hook up for prom.  Even so, he wanted it to be special, something she would remember.  Now that might not seem like a big thing but coming from a guy who basically hangs around the house, waiting for his next meal, it is huge.  Ginormous.  Maximum effort (Thanks Deadpool).

He made a poster. He brought flowers and chocolate. He showered.  He got dressed.  He made a poster. I know I’ve said it already but he made a poster!  With a heart.  He asked her dad to drop her off at a designated spot, where he stood all dapper and debonair, ready to get the yes.

Which he did. Obviously.

This could have been the best decision of my life

Lately my writing time has been soaked up by a lot of other shi stuff in my life.  It’s not the best excuse but it’s the one I’m using.  I really wish I had more time to write because it’s the one thing that prevents me from kicking random strangers and/or colleagues. The other thing is coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  I’ve had more than one anxiety attack lately because my life has been hectic.  Just last week I was googling my symptoms on WebMD and I was either having a mini-stroke or just very hungry.

I have two kids.  *The crowd goes silence in suspense*  These kids are getting older by the minute.  *The audience gasps at another shocking revelation*.   They will be leaving the house soon. *Audience members are leaving as the suspense is becoming too much to bear* Continue reading

Date night is not what it used to be.

date_night_opener

This image was borrowed from yellowscene.com because I googled “date night” and then searched for images and found this really cool pic because I love superheroes and shit and now I have to give credit to the site because I don’t want to get arrested for copyright infringement.

Princess was on a boat cruise over the weekend as part of a school tour for the top academic achievers of each grade.  She obviously takes after me… Seeing that it was our twenty-first wedding anniversary last Thursday, I knew this weekend had serious potential for a date night.  I just needed to get rid of Dude.  Which is extremely easy to do.  One only needs to move the PlayStation console and plug it into a different monitor at the venue you want him to move to.  Like a friend’s house. Continue reading

To my soulmate, on her birthday

The lucky ones among us get to meet people on this journey through life that leaves a lasting impression.  Like a great tattoo.  They inspire and change you.  People who walk in and accepts you for who you are, with all your flaws, warts, shenanigans, bad habits and everything else that makes you human.  The kind of person who makes you want to be better at being you.

And if you’re really, really, really fortunate, you get to marry that person.

My love, it’s been 23 years since we’ve met and look how far we’ve come on this journey of forever together.  Your birthday is just another simple reminder of how blessed we are for having you in our lives. Continue reading

I’m the love child of Groot and the Cookie Monster

I’m not kidding.  This is serious stuff.  I’m busy checking my family tree that seemed to be uprooted by the latest splurge of hurricanes ruining countries globally…

I’ve just arrived back from Argentina with a sinus infection so severe, I had to consider my last will and testament based on the lack of sympathy I received from my kids.  Based on their sensitive reaction to my condition they wouldn’t get anything from the minimal stuff I have to give them.  Wife was a bit more concerned, and only because I kept her up at night due to my consistent coughing from my annoying nazal drip. (Form a line ladies…)

Continue reading