Opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics?
We won’t be watching.
Not out of protest. I’m not one of those weirdo Olympics-bashers who thinks it’s all a huge waste of money.
I’m feeling ridiculously proud this global showcasing of humans at the peak of physical prowess, this rewarding of talent, dedication and determination is on our patch.
The opening event, with its £27 million budget and an Osar-winning director, a cast of 15,000 (minus the sacked-off BMX lads) sounds even better than the new Batman. But we’ll miss it all, the endless parade of the competing nations, the igniting of the cauldron. There’s somewhere more important we have to be, another ceremony, Boy’s graduation.
We’ll all be there; Team Boy, remembering the blood, sweat, tears and expense we each gave to the cause. Truly, it has been a feat of Olympic proportions, getting him onto that winner’s podium.
Me? After a few false starts in the early years – addictions to banned substances like Sunny D and McDonald’s fries to be contended with – I just about managed to get the nutrition right. There remains a predilection for peanut butter doorsteps at 3am, but it’s protein, I guess.
I was chief coach and psychologist. I gave pep talks when his fragile ego needed boosting and reminded him he was squandering his talent when he chose to give his all to Call of Duty 1, 2 and 3 instead.
His dad tried to implement a strict training routine and instil in him a sense of self-discipline, but that didn’t work. So he just paid the bills instead.
And praise must also go to the grandparents and the step-parents who helped hone of our family champion. When his backside needed a harder metaphorical kicking than I could give during his GCSEs, his A levels and then his three years at Leeds Met, they stepped up.
Though when details of his graduation ceremony came through, things could have got competitive. We were only allowed three tickets. One for me, one for his dad – and one for the others to fight for.
“My money’s on Granny Gloria,” said Bloke. Boy vehemently refused to cast bids. He’s so wise; no wonder he’s got a degree.
But in the end, the Steps were ultra good about it and Grandma Ann graciously relinquished a claim to the ringside seat. I reckon it’s so she can be first in the queue for the G&Ts (having won the bet, Bloke’s paying for them).
Now there are just one or two last-minute preparations to iron out.
I need to prevent my son from having a pre-ceremony haircut (I’ve seen way too many mortar-boarded egg heads on proud parents’ sideboards) and there’s my waterproof mascara to buy.
I know I’ll cry. Just as I know his dad will get gruff, because he’s feeling emotional and can’t bear to let anyone see. And our pride and joy will be wishing he didn’t have to wear that ridiculous outfit I’ve had to pay £39 for.
Hopefully he’ll turn out to be a winner and pay me back, pay all of us back. No pressure, love.