J is for Jack. He’s 13. Sometimes I don’t understand him at all, at all. He loves his computer, sleeping in, potato chips (chippies, crisps, whatever you call them), his mother’s roast chicken and his very few friends that’ve been a tight unit for years now,He’s into computer animation. They swap funny, clever “Flash” files and critique each others work with humour and honesty. Teenage boys are great fun. They’re so funny! They laugh all the time. I love having the house full of them, but it doesn’t happen very often. They prefer to ‘talk’ via their computers rather than be in the same room.
Jack is fiercely intelligent with a huge imagination. His primary school teachers thought that was fantastic, to be celebrated. His secondary school teachers? Not so much. You know that boy in the media? The one who doesn’t do well at school, compared to the girls? The one who cruises through school doing just enough to get by? He lives here. He effortlessly gets excellent marks on tests, but never does his homework. I don’t like all the loud attention the issue of educating boys gets in the media. And I loathe the stereotype that says boys all need to be active and must play sport. What kind of message does that send these lovely young men? They’re not expected to excel at school, all the information says they won’t. So why bother?
I hope he keeps fighting against the mainstream, laughing and putting his own quirky twist on things. But don’t tell him I said that.