A lot of people ask me what I think my son will do when he graduates from university. I mean, what do you do with a degree in Politics? He has no aspirations to be Prime Minister nor any position in local government. He was hoping to go on to do a PGCE and become a secondary school teacher but budget cuts at his university of choice means that it looks as if they do not have the funding to run the particular course he wanted. Personally, I can see him going into journalism, he has a very expressive way of writing, is passionate about things that interest him and has always had a wide vocabulary, even making up words of his own.
I like to take some credit for his imagination. When I was little, I had a friend who lived in the Wendy house at the bottom of the garden. Her name was Zolly Watson. Where on earth did I come up with that name? I knew no one with the surname Watson and I don’t think anyone has ever been baptised ‘Zolly’! But although no one else could see Zolly (which I always thought was a bit strange because she was very real to me) I loved spending time with her. I would sneak food and drink down there to share with her – she was a particular fan of Lucozade which we drank from the little plastic cups. The weird thing was, we went on holiday to Cornwall one summer and when we came back, Zolly had gone. I wasn’t sad, after all, I was now at school and had other friends to share my time with.
But when did my son start on the imagination path? Our first sign was when he was about two. He used to share bathtime with his sister, it wasn’t any less messy but it was quicker. He wasn’t able to pronounce her name at this time, but he heard people refer to her as his sister so ‘Sissy’ she became. One day he was out the bath first, wrapped in his towel, and we pulled the plug so the water could drain which hopefully would get his sister out too, she was always reluctant to start the bedtime procedure and as long as she was in the bath, she wasn’t close to going in the bed! Suddenly, we heard shouting ‘Get out Sissy – Get OUT!!!’ The little bundle of towel covered toddler was jumping up and down and getting himself in a right state. ‘GET OUT!’ as he pointed to the water which was going down the plughole. ‘Whatever is the matter?’ we asked – to which he replied ‘MAGAMALLY is down there!’ Who or what was Magamally we never found out but he clearly thought the noise from the drain was some kind of monster.
Fast forward to when the kids were about this size
We’re on holiday and on the beach in Mallorca. The little cutie on the left is busy digging a hole to make a car out of sand, and constructing a wonderful array of sandcastles around it. ‘Sissy’ has now developed into ‘Atchel’ and she is having a lovely time, dancing in and out of the sea, jumping waves and doing handstands at the waters edge. She notices her brother absorbed in his construction, she skips across the sand to where we are – and pirouettes her way through all her brother’s hard work. He was incensed. He was very cross. He was speechless with anger. ‘You … you …. you … IMBEGUNIOR BOO BOO’ he yelled at the top of his voice.
This was the same holiday where on a more peaceful afternoon at the beach, they were playing beautifully together, mixing up sand and sea water into ‘ice creams’ that they were serving in little paper cups. Ordinary flavours were soon discarded as they made up new concoctions of their own ‘I think I’ll have a fish finger and ketchup one please’ and ‘have you got any bolognese flavour left?’ but after a while of mixing and serving and careful contemplation, our son decided that his absolute favourite was ‘Malinger Malanger’.
So if he does go into journalism, I just hope he has a good spell checker on his computer!