I’m forty-one years old, and I might benefit from a lecture.
These days, I do the lecturing. I’m the lecturer, and others are my lecturees.
Usually my kids. Sometimes cold callers and charity muggers (chuggers). I hold court, and call the shots, because I’m a grown up with grown-up opinions.
Thirty years ago I was on the receiving end.
Eyes rolling: “Jeeeesus…what’s with the lecture,” as my parents bemoaned my inability to complete homework, carry dirty mugs down from my bedroom, or be the piano-playing-quadratic-equation-solving child prodigy that they’d always wanted.
It’s possible I projected the child prodigy bit on to them. This invented memory might be a dangling tentacle of my own insecurities. They probably just wanted me to behave and do my homework. They were definitely pretty hung up on the mug thing though.
Though I didn’t realise it, carrying out this task alone would have been worth ten child prodigies* to them. If only I’d figured that out. The bar was set so low and yet I chose to duck under it every time.
And all because I rolled my eyes and fixated on the lecture, rather than on the content of it.
Now, at forty-one, I could absorb a well-directed lecture with the perspective of a middle-aged man. I could spot the lessons and learn them. I could probably play piano and solve quadratic equations with the right guidance.
But nobody lectures forty-one year olds.
My parents are no longer interested. They’ve done their shift, and I’m not leaving dirty mugs anywhere in their house, so what do they care?
My kids try, but however well-structured the lecture begins it degenerates into a discussion about poo, bums, or Donald Trump – two boys under seven…this is standard stuff.
My wife is more than capable but she, too, more often than not finds herself disappearing down the rabbit hole of poo, bums and Donald Trump with the kids.
Frankly, she hasn’t got the energy to lecture me too.
So here I am.
I’ve had all my lectures and life lessons, and been given all the tools I’m ever going to get. It’s up to me now. Just a forty-one year old man, with an average amount of wisdom, trying raise a couple of child prodigies.
Once we get past poo, bums and Donald Trump, I think we’ll be well on the way.
*The first time I’ve worked out an exchange rate in terms of “number of child prodigies per…” This could be the new BitCoin.