Opinion with Matthew Munson: Games console decision and getting back to work

Matthew and Bryan

Wi-Fi. Games consoles with more computing power than the computers that sent us to the moon. Mobile telephones. All things that did not exist in my world during the 1980s and 1990s; I struggle not to think of those years as yesterday, but that’s a problem for a different day. The world my son is growing up in is very different to the one I’m grew up in.

Bryan doesn’t have a games console at the moment; he’s actually the only person in his class without one, which surprised me. He’s not been desperate for one; he’s certainly not been asking for one a lot of the time. However, I’ve begun to consider the vaguest of futures where a games console might enter our home; perhaps Father Christmas might receive an order this year.

That said, I am … cautious about consoles, and I’ve been asking everyone about them; what are peoples’ favourites, what is good and bad about each one, and which one will be the best for Bryan. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about consoles, and Bryan understands the dangers and fun that can be involved with technology; it’s beyond depressing that people can’t always be trusted online, but there you have it.

I’m happy for Bryan to try something new like this, and he’ll most definitely be getting another piece of kit next year – a mobile phone – for when he starts high school; so trying him out, sensibly, with a games console seems like a fair way of introducing him to different things. I don’t think Bryan will be much of a gamer – he’s never expressed a huge interest in it, and when he’s downloaded games to his tablet, interest has very quickly waned. But we’ll see … once I settle on a final decision as to the model.

I’m settling into a new job, but Bryan hasn’t noticed too much as it is aligned brilliantly with his holiday camp and weekly visits to his nan and granddad. It’s nice to be back in a work place, although I’m still adjusting to the oddness of it all; I’ve not been in an office since March 2020. It’s both lovely and a struggle to be physically with a team again; not because anyone is proving difficult (just the opposite, in fact), but because I’m out of practice. I only work the equivalent of three days a week, and so I need to adjust to a new routine. I deliberately chose hours that meant Bryan wouldn’t notice anything, and I get to have conversations with people again as well as using my brain.

I want to savour the little things in our family life at the moment; the school run (which starts again soon – his last year at primary school), playing in the park, doing different activities together. There will come a time when he wants to spend more time with his mates than with me, but we’ll deal with that when it happens; right now, my career comes second to my son, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But as I write this, I am about to take Bryan on a visit to Quex Park, where we will be feeding and walking some goats, and then going into a couple of mazes. If we don’t get out, it’s been a pleasure knowing you all – I’ll have to figure out a way of dictating next week’s column to the editor using some sort of semaphore.