I know it's insufferable when parents go on about how perfect their children are and what their amazing little darling did today. I know. Because we all know, for a fact, etched in our hearts, that OUR child is the only amazing little darling on the planet (make that plural as required!) . But we politely nod and coo and agree with other parents about how wonderful their little darling is because, well, we know how they feel! So I make no apologies for glowing quietly here on my blog. Turn away now if you're not in the mood!
During a number of recent conversations with the beautiful boy, other people have asked him what he's going to do when he grows up. Generally he baffles them because he doesn't know the job titles for the things he wants to do and generally these centre around his heroes like Simon King (wildlife film maker), James May (all round mechanical boffin) and Ray Mears (survival expert/ knows how to build a good bonfire).
"I want to be famous" came the reply.
I was mortified.
I was sad
I was very very worried.
As 'older' parents of an 'only child' we probably fit a lot of the stereotypes. Over-protective, unfashionable, highly academic (but only when it comes to his homework), and, of course, highly controlling when it comes to the media's input to our little darling.
Outside of cBeebies (pre-school channel) his TV viewing includes Open University films about engineering, documentaries about the world, history, culture etc., and the many many excellent wildlife series that we all love.
Whilst I'm happy to live and let live, we don't watch 'x-pop star wannabe can't sing' TV and we don't watch soaps, especially weeny-bopper soaps, UGH! I have huge misgivings about what is called the 'cult of celebrity'. I think it's great to look up to fine actors or great comedians. People who have a gift for their craft. My concern is that, generally, there are more practical things which society needs. Who will fix our plumbing when we're 75 if everyone goes to University to study Drama? Who is going to install a washing machine if everyone wants to work in Media. Why don't we have more respect for engineering and craftsmanship as career choices in this country? Why is University seen as being the icing on the cake, as though that somehow makes you better than a person who chooses to train on the job to become a master carpenter? Have you ever seen a man do the mental arithmetic involved in building a roof? Breath-taking!
"Lovely darling, and what will you do to be famous?
Are you ready for this? You need to be sitting down..
"I'm going to turn water into petrol"
Well Hurrah to that!
(The eco warriors amongst you will be glad to hear that the conversation continued around the possibilities of inventing a car that runs on water but apparently someone is already famous for having done that....)
That's me, glowing happily.
Clarification - (often needed after a rant) Oh lovelies! I don't mind at all people working in Media - my boy wouldn't have his beloved heroes if they hadn't moved into television and there were not production teams to make it all possible. It's the 'flash in the pan, high exposure, no talent' I dislike and a state educational policy that seems to belittle practical aspirations!