My son, who will be seventeen this year and who is prone to that syndrome peculiar to many teens and certainly most boys, monosyllabicism, has forwarded me an enlightening email. His apparently ambivalent attitude towards conversation (unless he needs something, obviously) and the fact he’s at boarding school for most of the year means I get quite excited when I receive any communiqué from him: a text asking that I call, a banal Forward in my Inbox.
Ordinarily I bin most Forwards. I tell myself they are time-wasting and since I’m able to time waste perfectly adequately on my own, I don’t need any assistance from outside. That said, I have read 3 of same this morning.
Anyway. son and heir sent (in response, no doubt, to demands from his father, ‘when are going to bloody well write?’) one of those questionnaires that asks things like what time you got up (5.55 in his case), what you usually eat for breakfast (a lot) and what you listen to (Disney classics and a bit of Beethoven, spelt bathoven in case you were about to be seriously impressed by my musical prodigy who – by the way – wouldn’t know who Beethoven/bathoven was if he came and bit him on the bum). Aside from discovering nothing about my son’s taste in music and something about his eating habits (he hates burgers I read), I also learned he wants to visit India; if he was a crayon he’d be dark green and that his favourite restaurant is local Tabora Hotel (‘because it’s such a surprise when your food arrives’ which it is).
His sense of humour was evident, what pets do you have revealed ‘2 cats, 2 dogs, a tree (?!) … oh. And two sisters’ and hair colour? Bald, apparently. It’s dark brown. As were his vulnerabilities: when did he last shed tears: he last cried on receiving results to recent French test, I discover. I doubt he actually cried but it does show he cares. I think. I hope?
So. If, like me, you become frustrated at your teen’s reluctance to provide details about what’s going on in their lives, wing them an asinine email: you have no idea what gems you might unearth.