The Biffy concert was my early Christmas present to my godson EB - it had been a year since I last saw him, the first time since he moved out to live with his dad after falling out majorly with his mum, my old schoolfriend MR.
I knew it was going to be a little awkward but was heartened that he still wanted to come up and that he was ok about staying the night at mine. He's a good looking lad, confident but quietly spoken and highly intelligent, already thinking about what he wants career-wise. He does have a certain disdain for authority but what teenager doesn't? At times though, I did struggle with conversation as I didn't want to mention his family so much, in particular his mum but I knew I'd have to at some point so I left it til the following day (yeah, I know - chicken!)
So, when I took him out for lunch, I told him that I didn't really know the reason why he was no longer living at home. MR's version was that they'd had some trivial argument and that he'd run away and decided to live with his dad. He told me that she'd kicked him out of the house. I asked him why and he said it was because he threw a snowball at one of his younger brothers. Hmmm. There could be an element of truth in that I could very well see MR going mad if she'd witnessed this - she could never understand her sons; need to act like boys, ie play rough, fight etc. *Sigh* - I guess it's a bit of both explanations.
Anyway, he didn't exactly say anything bad about his mum (though he had nothing good to say), just said that he didn't agree with her and he couldn't bear her being controlling - again, another element of truth. Apparently, she has sold or thrown away all his possessions - such an act is pretty final so I can't see him ever going back there to live. The good news was that he has been in touch with his siblings and still quite close to his sister it seems, although I hope he's not inciting her to rebel as he appeared to be suggesting...
Me, how did I react to this? Mostly, I listened to him but I didn't offer advice either way. Should I have? He wasn't asking for my advice and I'm not sure he would have reacted positively if I revealed myself to be on his mum's side, although technically, I'm not sure I'm on her side, she seems to have started burning her bridges as far as their relationship is concerned.
Anyway, as I saw him off at the station, I was left with a pretty high opinion of him. I'd asked him if he usually made any new year's resolutions and he replied yes, that he'd kept to it for the last few years. I asked him what it was and he said that it was not to get involved in the drugs culture - evidently, some of his friends have. I recalled his comments when we encountered a woman on our way to the Biffy gig - spaced out, she was taking heavy drags from a joint, whilst pushing a pram...
Makes my own resolutions seem so trivial.