Opinion with Matthew Munson: Making memories

Matthew and Bryan

There is a strange lull at Casa de Munson right now. It won’t last, of course, but I’m enjoying a few days of calmness; I have been well advanced with Christmas shopping, Bryan is back at school and enjoying it, I’ve had my eye test, and we’ve both stayed sane during our self-isolation.

It’s strange to feel quite so organised, as being a parent, that doesn’t always happen. Bryan occupies a lot of my attention (of course), and ensuring he has a social life doesn’t always leave very much time for my own. I don’t begrudge that, of course, because he’s 10; in the next few years, he will be going out with his friends a lot more, so I will get a bit more time to myself … only a bit, mind, as I hope he might let me spend time with his teenage self.

I’ve given him a couple of choices this weekend as to what activity we’re going to do, and he wanted to go to the cinema – the new Marvel film is out and I’ve taken him for a Sunday treat to the Vue cinema. It’s nice to give him the opportunity to choose things every now and then – although I wonder if he would take it a lot further if I allowed him to … typical 10-year-old. At the moment, Bryan is working his way through a lot of Halloween chocolate, and I let him have three chocolates / sweets every afternoon – although I see him trying to push it to four … or five … and convinced that I would be fooled by some momentary forgetfulness. It hasn’t worked yet.

Speaking of Halloween, it was lovely to take him out last week and do Trick or Treating; we did do it last year, but most people preferred to have a sticker in the window that prompted us to put a chocolate in Bryan’s collecting bucket from my supply. This year, there were a lot more people with pumpkins and decorations outside their houses, clearly willing to open the door to kids. I completely respect people who don’t want to, and think having pumpkins outside is a good compromise – we make sure only to knock on doors that are decorated, and leave everyone else alone. We were out for a couple of hours, the first hour with our neighbours and the second hour with just us two – and then Bryan got to answer the door at his nan and granddad’s house for a while.

It’s these sorts of moments that give me the most pleasure; seeing Bryan doing normal, everyday activities that he hadn’t previously done. I love giving him memories and introducing him to potential new passions; I’ve tried to show him the interesting side of history through stories and quirky bits of information, and introduce him to stories, activities, and events that are just good, old-fashioned fun – the fireworks at Broadstairs on Bonfire Night, Folk Week in Broadstairs, catching up with his brother and sister and just laughing the day away.

We get back into the swing of life very quickly after enforced self-isolation, and this past week has been no different – it’s hard to believe that we’ve only been “free” for seven or eight days now. To be a single parent to a 10-year-old boy is exhausting, especially one like Bryan – he’s changed my life completely, and I don’t begrudge him any of it.


  1. It is great to hear how well it went last week after being let out again, and I hope the Marvel film was as good as I hear it is. There were plenty of bangs during firework night and the day after. We could hear and feel the sounds of the huge explosions like bombs dropping at the Quex firework night last night from Cliftonville, and was told residents in Ramsgate were thinking there was thunder in the sky so it must have been very loud at the venue in Birchington. I am not sure I would have tolerated it, although I do like to see the different colours from all the rockets. I hope the Broadstairs fireworks were worth it, there were huge crowds there also I am told.
    I suppose the next big event now will be Christmas and putting up the decorations. I look forward to hearing all about your week next Sunday, but Bryan is obviously enjoying life in the Munson home and it’s fantastic you are giving him the normality he needs as a young chap of 10. Have a great week.

Comments are closed.