Another despatch from the school holiday trenches… I totally sympathise with Otto, of course. I went through an equally self-conscious phase. Not only were my parents a huge embarrassment, I was also supremely uncomfortable in my body and felt like everyone was looking at how mistakenly I was put together. The difference, of course, was that I grew up pre-internet and gaming. I even grew up without a TV, although I used to hang out at my neighbour’s to watch all the shows I was missing. The worlds inside games are so very compelling and so much more dramatic than our suburban surroundings. And in case you’re wondering, that Team Fortress 2 he’s playing. God they’re good at perspective drawing in those games!
Of course, I do have this regret – why does he not want to read books? I read him so many when he was young, and his bookshelf is stuffed. Why does he not want to go skateboarding, draw comics or hang out with his friends in real life? I am reminded of something my mother used to say – how she imagined, when she had a son, that he would wear waistcoats and play the violin. My brother never wanted to play the violin. And our children don’t always turn out the way we imagine they might.