Matthew Munson: Elections, memories and careers

Matthew and Bryan

Don’t talk to me about technology; this week, another laptop died on me. Thank heavens I had a spare to use, otherwise this column might well have been written with quill and parchment – and, given my handwriting, that would have almost impossible to read.

School is back this week, and both of us needed that routine – I forget sometimes how much a sense of routine and normality can really help. After 41 years, I should remember that far more easily than I do, but that makes me … well, human.

Who here has ever had braces? I never had them when I was younger, and Bryan has just had them put on; I was a little anxious, just because I wanted to help Bryan take good care of them. I assiduously read the information booklet the clinic gave us, and asked a lot of questions of the dental nurse when we went for the appointment. Bryan was pleased with his red braces, and he dealt with the initial soreness like a trooper. Both of us are intrigued to see how they work over the next couple of years, and I’m proud of the positivity with which Bryan has approached this.

I completed my postal vote for the district elections this week and sat with Bryan as I looked at the candidates – I wanted him to understand what I was doing, as one day, he’ll be able to do this as well. Politics is something that fascinates me, so I try and share that with Bryan; I might even save the postal vote until the day of the election and take him with me to drop it off in person, just so that Bryan gets to see a bit more of the process. I remember my dad, who was a journalist before he retired, covering the counting on occasions. Once, he didn’t get home until 7am, as he’d stayed to write up the story as well (this was before home broadband) and then coming home at some godforsaken time of the morning; funny the things we remember even after all these years.

Talking of memories, I sometimes ask Bryan if he remembers such and such a moment from our four years together; Do you remember going here or doing this? Sometimes he does with a bit of encouragement, and sometimes he looks at me with a look of complete confusion; We didn’t do that, did we? It amazes me how the human brain works. I can remember even now, with absolute clarity, falling down the stairs at a house I lived in with my parents when I was about three or four. I can remember performing in the school play at my primary school just before I left for secondary; it was 1992.

But I then barely remember anything from my secondary school, except once when I had stayed behind to help out at an open day (I must have been 14 or 15), and my French teacher was telling me a story of a ghostly nun who apparently haunted the school – just as my friend then decided to walk into the classroom and shout boo. I think my feet actually left the floor, and I screamed in shock so loudly people three floors below probably heard me. How do I remember that and practically nothing else?

I’ve had a few different jobs in my life, and there have been moments when I’ve looked back over my career and thought, “Oh yes, I’d forgotten about that.” That’s worrying. There are a couple of jobs I’ve done in the past I’d probably rather forget, if I’m honest with you, but we’ve probably all been there.

Bryan won’t mind me saying that he wants to be either a dancer or a cashier when he’s older, which are both admirable careers, if not incredibly different to each other. I want Bryan to enjoy his future career or careers, so he’ll have nothing but unadulterated support from me. I’ll give him advice and share what I’ve learnt from my own experiences – including my mistakes (I’ve made enough of them). I know that he’ll give his career 100% commitment, and you can’t ask for more than that.

1 Comment

  1. Really pleased to see a parent explaining the election process to their child. If only more parents did that; not just telling them who to vote for but explaining the process of what the candidates are campaigning for through researching their manifestos and track records and how important it is to vote considering we’re a democracy. Well done Matthew!

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