I'm proud of my son - not for going to uni, but for deciding on something he wants and going for it.
I went to uni. It was a lot of fun. Maybe that's why I didn't last long. Or maybe it was because I was doing an Economics degree yet somehow managed to sign up for a music subject.
Last Sunday I phoned up my number one son for a catch up.
"Dad. I can't talk for long. I've got this assignment." Master20 sounded stressed. "It's due Monday."
When I was at uni my Sundays were generally spent recovering from Saturday night or drinking all the wine from a wine flagon so we could blow it up and use it as a pillow in the park. Have I mentioned how much fun uni was?
My Sundays are still about pillows, but more wanting desperately to be able to put my head back on one and sleep.
Headache aside, sometimes I miss my old Sundays.
"I understand, mate," I lied to my son. "It's just the little kids are missing you."
"Oh, okay," said my good man. "Put them on." And he took twenty minutes out of his study schedule.
I loved it. I love it when they reconnect: all my kids.
A close friend with three much older siblings once told me he didn't even realize his brother was his brother for years. He felt his oldest brother was a stranger who popped in occasionally and demanded hugs. Despite living two hours away, Master20 is making sure he's a presence in his younger siblings' lives.
After working it's way around the kids, the phone finally ended up back in my hands.
"I gotta go, Dad," he said. "I need to get this done."
"No worries, mate. Talk soon."
Several hours later a message popped up on his Facebook message board.
"Soooo....spent several hours getting an assignment done today. Did 1000 words and found references only to discover that it wasn't actually assessment...it was a farking example!!!!"
Turns out the lecturer had given the topic as a sample question and not an assignment. Unfortunately, Master20 only realized this after completing the task and attempting to submit it online. Which would have been a shame but not embarrassing if he hadn't, at that point, emailed his lecturer complaining and then gone onto a message board all the other students in that subject use and asked if anyone else had the same problem.
So what do you know? He isn't smarter than me afterall.
Shortly after discovering his mistake he followed up on his Facebook post.
"I want my Sunday back!"
I hear you, son.
They grow up so fast, don't they?