Certainty, The Olympic Legacy and 1983
There have already been two clear legacies in our house from those 17 magical days as the globe’s darlings. First, Didsbury Son has put his name and a flag on the back of his dressing gown as a sop to my trying to cajole him off the couch to take up something. He was very impressed with the judo and its dressing gown kit. Secondly, having encouraged him to watch and be inspired by The Olympics ceaselessly, he has now developed a passive screen habit that switches seamlessly from Mo and Jess to CBBC and Daytime shopping channels. It’s like looking at a childhood memory that is a little too honest. My memory of the 1980 Olympics is not mimicking pre-LOCOG Seb Coe or boycotting Moscow, it’s Scooby Doo.
Didsbury Son has developed that post year 6 trait of certainty. Certainty of the dubious facts he spouts confidently on every topic, the right to watch/do/say what he wants and then revert to age 6 if rumbled and the certainty that he is past the age where he needs guidance of any sort. That is the role of YouTube and I am so 20th Century.
It took me back to my own certainties. I have a vivid image of being at Tropicana on Oxford Street showing off my newly pierced ear and adjusting my eyeshadow; feeling so cutting edge I needed a chopping board. I was certain of the life I was about to have and of the size of the world.
The idea that George Michael was gay, East Berlin would be a trendy tourist spot and you couldn’t smoke in a pub were as ludicrous as the idea of going to school without backcombing your hair. Aah, the beauty of not considering grey hair, not considering consequence. In fact not considering anything beyond short-term personal gain; heady days.
So whilst I look at Didsbury Son always with love, sometimes with amusement and occasionally with parental frustration – it is only the certainty of seeing my own mistakes lining up and looking for a way to bypass them but knowing with certainty he will make his mistakes anyway; probably.