Saturday 20 July 2019

'I'm 11 years old... Here's what I'm really thinking about my parents'

One of the things I love is that my parents always listen
One of the things I love is that my parents always listen

My friends say that I can be a bit moany and whingy about my parents. Maybe I am, but I think everyone complains about their parents sometimes. My granny keeps telling me that they'll be a total embarrassment to me when I'm a teenager. I doubt that. Maybe it's because I'm still just 11 that they seem great to me. Despite our occasional rows they are pretty much the best parents any child could have.

One of the things I love is that they always listen. I don't mean that they are always in the room and hearing me, I actually mean they listen. That might sound like the same thing but it isn't. You can tell when they are listening because they aren't distracted by anything else.

They rarely have the time to just stop everything entirely, but you know they are paying proper attention because they keep looking over to me and the questions they ask me make sense. They also keep checking if they've heard me correctly. So I know they are trying to make sure they understand properly.

I also like the fact that they don't just automatically assume that they know best. I'd say they do know best and I usually take their advice, but they don't shove it down my throat. They find out what I think. That's good.

I especially like dinners because you actually get to hear what's happening in the family. We're not all always there, but there's enough of us usually. It's always a bit of a laugh. It can be funnier if it's the weekend and Mam and Dad are having wine with dinner, because they say some funny things. Like the stories they'll tell about what they got up to when they were our age, even the bad things they did. Granny seems brilliant to me, but she sounds like she was a bit of a dragon when my dad was small.

Another thing I like about them is that they are really predictable. I don't just mean that their work is regular, although it is pretty regular. But you know what you're going to get with them when they talk about stuff, or even if they're cross and giving out. They're kind of reliable that way. Not that being in trouble is good, it's not, but they never totally freak out. They always seem like they are in charge. Solid, like.

They're big into sports too which is good because so are all of us. And they seem to care about the stuff we are doing. You'd hear some parents going on about the hours they spend on the touchline or on the road to matches or training. But my parents seem to see it as just part of life and kind of what they expect and want to be doing. So that's nice.

But the thing I love most about them is that they love me. Like, they'll give out about my behaviour sometimes (I'm not really bold anyway) but after a few minutes they'll be back chatting like normal, or they'll give me a hug and I know then that things are alright again. Like the cross bit is over. I like knowing when we are back to just being good together. I'm not explaining that right, but hopefully you know what I mean. There's something about those hugs. You just know that everything is going to be okay when they hold you tight. I think I've got good parents… not that I'd tell them though, it'd only go to their heads.

* As imagined by David Coleman


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