Oldest son has big ambitions. He wants to be a sports journalist, reporting on the major sporting events around the globe.
He is trying hard to achieve his dream and has written his own sports blog for almost two years. He has sent his writing to the local paper and been in touch with sports presenters on the radio asking for advice.
Last Saturday his persistence paid off, he got to sit in the commentary box at the football stadium where his favourite team play.
But he didn’t just sit there idly watching, he actually got to speak on air and give his verdict on the match.
It was strange sitting at home listening to this grown up voice through my radio. He spoke knowledgeably, clearly, with no hesitation or nerves and best of all at the end, I heard him say thank you for the fantastic experience.
I have taught him well and am as proud as any mother could be.
But my pride is tinged with overwhelming sadness that his dad could not be beside me to hear him.
I’m crying even now as I type this and I shouldn’t because I am sat in the corner of the tennis club while he has a lesson, admittedly it’s a very quiet corner and I am rarely bothered while I type but I pull my hair around my face to hide my emotion anyway.
Life is so unfair and cruel.
Andrew and I started going out when we were both working as presenters on a charity radio project. He was the most amazing DJ with his witty banter and repartee. I thought I was OK, I had dreams and aspirations in this area too but I set them aside when I met and heard Andrew, he had a natural ability that just shone.
He also knew all about the technical side of radio and sound production and built several studios for hospital and temporary charity radio stations.
My technical abilities are limited, once upon a time I knew how to edit tape, cut it and splice it back together but I could never get the sound levels right. I did a proper interview for local radio once and my interviewee, a famous Christian speaker, helped out with the technical side because I was unsure how the tape recorder actually worked.
Andrew could have helped oldest son with all the things I don’t understand. They could have worked on demo tapes together or CDs or whatever the latest things is! I know - I am so old fashioned.
I would have loved to see them work together on something they could both enjoy. Andrew was a patient teacher and he would be thrilled at his son’s interest in broadcasting. He could have taught him so much.
But this dream was only a tiny seed when Andrew died, buried deep.
I know I am doing my bit, helping out as much as I can.
It’s not just radio commentary he wants to do but also writing about sport. It is me who has read through every blog post he has written, correcting grammar and spelling but I know I am far from perfect in that department. I am aware that so many errors pass me by.
The other day I bumped into one of oldest son’s old teachers. She asked how he was getting on at college.
I beamed with pride as I told her he had settled in well and all about his radio exploits.
“He is one of the most determined kids I’ve ever met.” She told me.
I’ve always known he is unusual among his peers because he knows exactly wants he wants out of life. From this brief conversation I have discovered he really is exceptional and it’s not just me that thinks so.
Dreams are such fragile things; they need nurturing, believing in and a tremendous amount of hard work behind the scenes to make them flourish.
The same can be said of children, even if they appear more resilient and temperamental.
Being a parent is not an easy task, but I am convinced that between us Andrew and I did a good job and somehow on my own I am still mostly getting it right.
Hopefully one day oldest son will reach his goal and everyone will be listening to his words as they resound across the airwaves.
I know this for certain - wherever I am at the time I will be the loudest, proudest mother cheering him on.
If you want to follow oldest son's sports blog you can find it here - Reports from a teenage sports fan