I appreciate Mum and Dad making our life choices for us, I really do. They made it very clear for us, and now that I’m leaving school I can see why. So many of my classmates don’t have a clue what they want to do, or even what they want to do at uni. They’re wasting a year of their life traveling, to…’find themselves’, or whatever. Whereas we’re all pretty much set, from day one.
I was always meant to be a professional AFL player, which is why they called me Sherryn. That one was pretty simple. My brother is meant to be an artist, so he got ‘Leomicaphitello’. We mostly just call him Leo, but I’m sure he gets reminded of his glorious purpose every time he has to fill in a government form. But the problem child at the moment is Wendell, which is like ‘William’ but it is not like that. See, Mum and Dad really want him to be a metalworker, so for his third birthday we got him a set of mobile scaffolding, just small enough for someone of his age to set up with a bit of help from a taller person. Obviously there’s some leeway when it comes to this system. If Wendell wanted to grow up to assemble scaffolding, or perhaps he spent all his time restoring antique cutlery and selling it at the local Saturday market, that would be acceptable. However, he didn’t seem at all interested in the scaffolding. Instead, he went to his room and started playing with his dinosaurs, the ones he only got because he took his junior metalworking kit to playgroup and convinced one of the other children to trade with him.
So far as I know, this has always a momentous event within our family. When I turned three, I got my first football. I spent hours kicking it around, even though I didn’t fully understand my destiny. Leo got a set of paintbrushes, which he immediately used to paint his first masterpieces on the side of the car. I think it was a cat, but don’t quote me on that; the interpretation was abstract.
But for Weldiam to reject his destiny? I’m not sure it’s ever happened. It will plunge our family into chaos…not to mention we now have a fairly large set of mobile scaffolds lying around in the back garden that are not being put to use.