Tuesday 9 December 2008

Three colours. Blue

I was never aware of father/son rivalry until three years ago when the boy started attending the same school as I had done thirty odd (and even) years ago. I was moderately successful...some good grades, some average grades, I managed to make prefect and even monitor, but at the crucial moment was distracted by a girl so got the interview, but didn't get the place at Oxford. Academically, the boy is well ahead of me...but not knowing how well I did keeps him on his toes. I shall choose my moment to tell him carefully.

On the sports field I was hardly Olympic Gold medal stuff, and in most cases did my utmost to avoid anything that involved running around chasing an odd-shaped ball in the cold and wet. There's always been a wry smile on my face then when ever it's mentioned that I achieved School colours for my cross-country running. Not that I was any good, it's just that I turned up and ran until I got a little tired. I've kept the tie ever since as an amusing momento.

The boy was delighted that when he arrived at Bancrofts, cross country running had been demoted to half-colours, minor sport; I was crest-fallen...but not much. From the glint in his eye, it was clear his sights were set, and he'd soon be the equal of my sporting achievement.

It has spurred the boy on, and his sporting prowess includes being best at javelin throwing for two years, captaining the house athletics team, joining the swimming squad, and playing for the school rugby team for the last three seasons.

And boy has he worked at it, and where he has lacked talent, he has more than made up for it in grit and determination. And a stubbornness to succeed which is inherited in equal measure from both his mother and his father.

He was gutted then on Saturday when at the end of the season, again, he was overlooked for school colours inspite of his endeavours on the rugby field. The devastation was there for all to see. And I too felt he had been robbed - he turns out religiously and tries his damnedest. He deserves them. I'm sure he does. But no words of consolation from me have or will make up for him not getting them. I suspect to him, I am the winner, magnanimous in victory. Which is a shame, and I will have to work doubly hard to keep him motivated for next season. Nothing would please me more to see him beat me in classroom, field and office.


  1. Sounds a bit hard done by, if you ask me. What do they expect - Olympic records?

  2. I'm sure there's a technical explanation for school colours but being a mere girl I don't get it.

    But I am agrieved on your own self's and his behalf, let the boy be any colour he chooses !

    ps I was a prefect at school and look what happened to me !


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