This week the topic is:

What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you or said to you? Why did this mean so much?

In my case it was a simple phone call from my eldest son Leon about 15 years’ ago.

Leon and I had often clashed, as we are both strong willed.  I was determined that he would not get the better of me as he was growing up, and because I’m not one to take the easy option and give in, our disputes were often frequent.  Added to the boiling cauldron was the fact that Leon was hyperactive as a child, thus causing Mum and Dad to lose much sleep and for Mum especially to wonder if she had given birth to an alien.

Leon’s teenage years were particularly trying.  He was bored at school and refused to do any homework.  His school work had a definite ‘laissez-faire’ tinge to it, and one teacher in particular always sent him out of the class at the beginning of the lesson ‘because sooner or later I’ll have to send you out anyway’.  He was headstrong, and if there was any trouble in the village, you knew Leon would be involved in it.  Sam and I wondered what would become of him, especially when there was a run-in with the police just before he started his apprenticeship aged 16, causing us to ground him for 3 months.

The grounding worked.  Old friends disappeared, and he made new ones when he started work as an apprentice air-con engineer.  I had found him the apprenticeship and had encouraged him to apply, after much hesitation on his part, as he preferred to sit about and play computer games.  However, he loved the £57.60 each week and thought he was rich.  He worked with men older than himself, and after the initial tasks of sawing bits of wood to build up his muscles and making endless cups of tea, he became interested in the job.  He secured day release to college, and over the course of 4 years passed all the exams he needed to become qualified.

As soon as he qualified and was earning a good wage, he moved out aged 20 and went to live with his then fiancée.  About a month or so after he had moved out I was cooking dinner one evening when Leon rang to thank me for everything I’d done for him, and he went on to say he would never have found such a good job without my input.

I was flabbergasted to say the least, and a few tears fell into the saucepan.  We’d had many arguments over the years, and I’d wondered several times what was to become of him. Now he was thanking me!

He’s currently aged 36, is on the management ladder of a national company, and has a team of engineers under him who all look to him for guidance.  I can proudly say that after many trials and tribulations, my boy is a productive member of society!

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