Day 30 – Gwen Steffani – What You Waiting For?
I like Gwen Steffani – a very nice young lady.
Her music is a bit hit and miss though – some of it is dreadful.
What You Waiting For however is a triumph.
It’s been quite difficult for me to find examples of pop songs from the 2000’s that I actually like; mainly because the charts are dominated by drivel.
My two lads have exposed me to all manner of musical nonsense, some of it I have liked, most of it I’ve not liked.
Stephen, my eldest lad, has followed in my footsteps to a certain degree. I have followed rock music as it has progressed and been introduced to some marvellous new bands. Stephen has embraced some of them too and has become a bit of a rock fan himself.
In fact, we are both going to see Rammstein in March. Sadly, my influence hasn’t been absolute, because he also likes some pure drivel, which he is keen on inflicting on me.
Michael, on the other hand, has rebelled. He listens to music that is more in tune with Mrs PM and they discuss music quite often. He puts up with my music because he has no choice.
I don’t care and I welcome the fact that they have both veered off in their own direction. I have watched the two of them grow up and become young men and I am very proud of them.
Stephen, now 18, has followed in my footsteps and gone to university in Newcastle, studying IT - just like I did.
And, like me, he loves it.
Mrs PM and I visited him a month or two ago and it was like stepping back in time. He shares his accommodation with a mixed group of people and he thoroughly enjoys it. The place was an absolute tip – just like I remembered my place being.
“I’ve tidied up a bit,” he said.
I laughed, because it was a complete mess. “What was it like before?” I asked incredulously. Later, when we returned after a brief tour of the university, two of his female flatmates were cleaning the place up.
Stephen, unlike me, is not shy at all. He has always been a good talker and can march into a group of people and start a conversation with ease.
Michael, now almost 16, is more like me. I wouldn’t say he is shy but he is a lot quieter than his brother. He is also a very sporty lad. He plays for a local football club and is very interested in sport of any kind. I’m not sure where he gets his footballing skills from – certainly not me. I was absolutely rubbish, relying totally on pace rather than skill. Michael has both.
Having seen his brother go to university, Michael is keen to do the same. He is just about to take his GCSE exams and then he will go into the sixth form and A levels.
A part of me is envious. I remember what it was like for me.
Unlike me, however, my two lads are more prepared for the years ahead. For me, going to university was like stepping through a massive door into an unknown world. For Stephen and Michael, Mrs PM, W and I have all encouraged them, guided them and prepared them for what lies ahead – well as much as we can.
We’re already seeing a change in Stephen.
As I’ve said before, another part of me sees them almost grown up and regrets the fact that they are not children any more. That part of me is selfish – it is the child within who wants to be young again. I miss playing with them, teasing them and generally fooling around.
When Stephen once said to me “Grow up, Dad,” the child within me was hurt. It was a moment when I realised that I could no longer act like a child with him.
I miss the little rituals we had – hiding in the bedroom at bedtime and scaring them, drawing Mr Men on a blackboard and then reading the stories to them; giving them Mohican hairstyles in the bath; watching Thomas the Tank Engine videos; chasing them around the house pretending to be a monster; playing football with them in the park and many more things.
Now, it is like having two adults around the place – and that is fun as well. I can see them becoming fine young men.
Yes – I am envious. I am sure they will make mistakes but I hope to be there for them as long as I can, accompanied by Mrs PM, who adores them, and of course W, who has been the perfect mother to them.
Anyway – this is me and the boys back in 2006 in Blackpool (Mrs PM’s home town). Michael is closest - he was 10 - Stephen was 13.
And this is last summer in Ibiza. Stephen, now 18, is next to me, taking after his father and drinking beer. Michael is now almost 16.
I feel really old - but I am very proud of them.