Matthew Munson: A busy weekend and a ‘Titanic’ delivery

Matthew and Bryan

This weekend has proved to be a busy one. Bryan and I have travelled across the south coast to visit his siblings and celebrate a slightly belated birthday.

There’s been a lot of excitement, as I’m sure you can imagine, and a lot of travel on trains. It’s odd, how so much train travel can tire you out – but a bit of tiredness is worth it when we get to visit family members who are further afield and mean a lot to our own family. Sunday afternoon, however, will be dedicated to some R & R before school and work begins again on Monday.

I’m fortunate in that I mostly work from home. I pop in a couple of times a month for meetings and activities that are going on, but other than that, I can get the same quality of work done from home. That helps me out hugely with my other responsibilities as a dad; being there for my son, getting him to and from his dance lessons (with grandparents helping out as well), and getting to university – currently just one day a week. Bryan, of course, goes to school, but given that this coming week is just four days (Good Friday, folks), he’ll be both looking forward to the holiday and missing his friends.

I’m keeping the Easter holidays fairly relaxed this year. I’ve got the first week off to spend some quality time with my brilliant son, and then back to work for the second week. But Bryan is going to a holiday camp for three days, so he’ll be delighted to see some friends as usual there – and he won’t give me a second thought each day he goes. I’m not offended; it’s just a fact of life, and it’s great that he can spend time with peers, rather than just his dad.

I don’t have any particular plans with Bryan over our Easter break. I was glad to see the food festival is on over the Easter weekend, so we’ll of course be going down there. Other than that, I’ll be finding a nice couple of things for us to do, as well as spending quality time at home catching up on all the things we want to do.

Speaking of which, I must share with you something that made Bryan happy recently. As I mentioned in last week’s column, Bryan had a birthday recently. He asked for two things for his birthday – money (I’ll explain in a minute) and experiences. I’m taking him away for a few days in May for some lovely experiences up in London – things that he really wants to try, and it’s a privilege to share that with him.

But the money … about eighteen months / two years ago, Bryan and I had popped into the big Lego shop in Leicester Square (in London), mostly out of curiosity. It’s two floors of noise, colour, and wall-to-wall Lego. While we were looking round, Bryan spotted a set that really appealed to him – the Lego Titanic, which had 9,090 individual pieces in it.

As you might imagine, that was well outside my price range, and his pocket money wasn’t going to cover it. So Bryan decided that he wanted to save up for this rather large piece of kit. I wasn’t entirely convinced Bryan would see it through; but all this time later, he has indeed seen it through and proved me wrong.

I found a couple of good sellers on eBay and Amazon and tracked them as Bryan’s bank balance rose. With Bryan’s birthday just recently happening, he was tipped over the edge to be able to afford a top-quality set. After a couple of hitches with the delivery – DPD didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory – the rather large and rather heavy box arrived. In it were three Lego boxes, each with innumerable pieces and each with a thick instruction book.

At the moment, it seems overwhelming. There’s a lot of work to be done, and it can seem daunting at the start of a project like this. Bryan is determined to do as much of it by himself as he can. I suspect that means all of it, but I’ll keep reminding him that I’d be happy to help. He’ll probably still be determined to do it by himself, though. Now all I’ve got to do is figure out where to put this huge kit when it’s done.

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