Matthew Munson: The end of another school term and future plans

Bryan and Matthew

Well, there we have it – the end of another term at school. I’m not quite sure how nearly an entire school year has gone by. It goes without saying that I’m incredibly proud of everything Bryan has achieved; at his parents’ evening, it was lovely to talk to his teachers and learn that his values were strong, and he was putting his all into his academic work. I couldn’t ask for anything more as a dad.

This half term, I’m working; it’s the perennial balancing act for any parent. Annual leave only stretches so far, and so there are a couple of holidays (and half the summer holidays) that I can’t give him my undivided attention. As he grows up, of course, that’s less of an issue; he doesn’t always want my undivided attention, so I have to respect that.

I’ve been able to shift my workload around this week so that I get a couple of days with him, and with friends; Bryan and I are spending a couple of days together, and I’m hoping to meet up with a friend or two for coffee next week as well. We’ve been at Board at Home today, a brilliant board game shop where we just spent the afternoon playing different board games – and I got some quality time with my ever-growing son. Utter bliss.

I’m currently working on a book when I can, and have been struggling with the concept for one; I’ve tried to stick it out, as I always tell Bryan to persevere. That said, I came to the realisation that what I had written wasn’t particularly great, so I decided to take a break and work on something new. That was lovely – I’ve already got the entire story plotted out, so I seem to have made the right call. I’m looking forward to fleshing it out and making it a full-length story now; that’ll take some time.

Half-terms and weekends really remind me just how fortunate I am to raise a son in an area like Thanet; we have beaches and parks, some fun stuff to do, and not too far from places like Canterbury and London. I’ve genuinely loved raising Bryan over the past four years here in the place I was born (it’s changed a lot over the last four decades, but the bits that were beautiful forty years ago are still beautiful now). We have had a lovely four years living here, and may that continue for many more years to come.

Finding new opportunities for me as Bryan grows up and makes some good friends is an exciting – and slightly scary – challenge. It involves meeting new people and wondering if some of those people become new friends. It can be hard making friends as an adult; as a kid, it’s often as simple as asking, “Do you want to be my friend?” When you hit some indeterminable age, it becomes more nuanced and complicated – why do we always have to complicate everything?

In any case, I’m both excited and nervous about the opportunities coming up in my future; starting university to broaden my education, get me out of home for a few hours every week (working at home is lovely, but a bit lonely at times), and give me some opportunities in the future. That’s all the exciting bits; the nerve-wracking bits are I don’t entirely know how, when, and where a lot of different things will happen. Will I increase my social circle as a result of these decisions? I hope so; that’s shrunk a bit in the last few years. Will I broaden my horizons and my skills? I definitely hope so; I want to be better tomorrow than I was yesterday. Will I also work hard on being a good dad and have a good relationship with my brilliant son? You’d better believe I will.