Each of my three elder children has, at one time or another, come to me with a piece of Big News. It doesn’t really matter what, the relevant part is that they were all things which might have made a weaker man falter. I took them all in my stride. However, I have for some time wondered what my youngest child had in store for his Dramatic Moment. And now I know.
We’d cycled home from playing table tennis this morning, I’d just locked up the garage, and he nonchalantly announced – as if it was the most normal thing in the world – “I went to the school basketball club yesterday”.
Basketball. Basketball. The most worthless, idiotic and plain boring of all sports. I’d have been less upset if he’d told me he was joining the young Conservatives, or that he was a fan of heavy metal, or even that he’d gone to the school rugby club (yes, really, that’s how bad basketball truly is – it’s worse than rugby).
I was literally speechless, which doesn’t happen to me very often. After fully ten seconds of me looking at him aghast, he said – seemingly unaware or uncaring as to how he was making matters worse – “There’s nothing wrong with playing basketball”. I covered my ears. I couldn’t bear to hear any more.
Basketball. I keep saying to myself that it’s probably just a phase, it’s probably just a phase… Who knew fatherhood could be this challenging?