The exams are over, the summer holidays are not quite upon us and 16 year olds all over the country are bored. There is nothing to do. All that intense studying now forgotten and a couple of weeks of doing nothing are beginning to take their toll. It was great at first, ten weeks of no school stretching into the distant future; there were end of exam parties, end of school parties, parties to end all parties so the first fortnight was spent sleeping and nursing sore heads.
Admittedly the weather which could make so much difference is not being kind to them; but a blanket of despondency envelopes them from the outer world leaving them with nothing to do. Our Wii has been in much use this past week, alternating between the play station, the tv or computer. Thankfully despite the rain Colts training began last week with a very wet but hard training session. I have to be grateful that No 1 Son is keeping fit and he does at least one fitness activity each day, but he is still bored.
My suggestions are met with the derision and disdain they deserve. My offers of paid work are met with cynicism and scepticism at the effort of having to get dressed. I as a parent do not have any good ideas after all I am old and have never had fun!
Maybe a girlfriend might give No 1 Son an interest. He could go and meet her in town; we would probably end up driving him and her to places or events; but there are no free young ladies of the exacting standards he requires, available at the moment.
It would be good if he could get a proper paid job, not odd jobs that his mother could find for him. He is due to have an operation at the end of July and although it should not cause him much time out, he already knows he will be away from rugby for 6 weeks; a fact that plays heavily on the spirit. The unknown quantity is whether he will be able to walk or run directly afterwards or how long it will be before he is able to so is unable to commit to working at the moment.
The operation date we have been expecting has arrived and falls two days before we travel to France on holiday. A planned early start to catch the 8am ferry for a 6 hour crossing, followed by a 5 hour drive the other side to find our campsite. Thankfully we will not be in a tent but a chalet which will afford him some comfort once we arrive. I have managed to delay the ferry for one day but if he is not fit; we have a plan B. Plan B in my mind is the less favourable option although Sexy Sporty Dad and No 1 Son are rather in favour of it.
I will travel as planned with the other two all the way down through France on my own. It is probably 8 or 9 years since I have driven in France, so my French is rusty along with my map reading skills; I can see us ending up in Madrid or Frankfurt. I do not have a problem with the idea of driving abroad. My problem is; the time it will take having not had much sleep the night before in order to be there on time, 6 hours of hyperactivity on board an enclosed ferry, then the solo drive. My nerves are jangling already and there are still two weeks to go. Sexy Sporty Dad and No 1 Son will take a ferry / train combination or fly to a convenient town nearby for me to collect them. I am even now investigating all the alternatives.
A chink in the armour of ennui appeared at the end of last week. Sexy Sporty Dad’s brother El Capitano rang
to complain he too had bored 16 year old twins and was tearing what is left of his hair out trying to get them to do something, anything. He had hatched a cunning plan and was setting off from Derbyshire down to Falmouth to pitch a tent; he happened to be planning to tow his pride and joy boat with him. Would No 1 Son be available to join in?
Naturally, I leapt at the opportunity for him to have some fun before the others broke up and his impending operation truncated any sense of adventure. The lethargy was so embedded that he however declined the opportunity, not only leaving his parents in despair, but El Capitano with two reluctant participants not really wanting to go either. Forced into going, the conniving cousins called as they reached the M6 to travel down, urging him to reconsider with stories of mayhem, mishap and mischief. Minutes later he was packing a rucksack and we spent an unplanned Sunday taking him to the motorway junction to meet the weary travellers.
A fistful of cash, his phone topped up and a party pack of drink; we waved him away. He is adamant he wants to be home for Mini Son’s 10th birthday celebrations later in the week so El Capitano will put him on a train from Cornwall and hope he manages to change enough times to get home. Having not been on a train alone before, this will be a good experience and practise in case Plan B has to come into play for our holiday.
The rain has returned and the forecast does not foretell of improvement so it may be that the whole party returns earlier than planned and he will not be called upon to rely on his survival homing beacon. At the very least he will have seen his cousins, had an adventure and even maybe a sail, so he can come home with a fresh attitude to battle the boredom.
Thank you El Capitano!
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