Last week I heard something interesting on telly from Bob Mortimer, the comedian and, in my opinion, the funnier half of Reeves and Mortimer. Apparently he was once a bin man for a year, and he listed a few other jobs he’d done before becoming a lawyer, and then a comedian. I don’t know what it is about lawyers becoming comedians – Clive Anderson had the same career trajectory – but I love hearing about people who have done lots of different things, all totally unrelated.
It just goes to show what potential we have as human beings, so it’s odd that as parents we just want to see our children ‘settled’ in a career. Preferably for life. As if that would be an end-point beyond which we needn’t worry about them any more.
I’m just imagining the reports Bob’s parents gave to their friends:
‘Oh yes, Bob’s settled. Got himself a good job on the bins, he’s sticking at it.’
‘Bob? Oh he’s decided to train as a lawyer. Yes, he’s settled now, knows what he wants to do.’
‘Bob’s got a settled career now, yes, he’s found what he’s good at and he’s settled down.’
‘Bob? Oh, yes, he’s having a stab at being a comedian. Well he’s finally settled on what he really wants to do.’
I don’t know of course, I just made that up, but I sympathise with any parent’s desire to know that their children are settled, there’s something very reassuring about that. And a bit dead.
At the age of twenty-two, my eldest son has so far: worked in an office, done two terms at University studying Arts and Social Sciences, worked part-time for a year as a clock repairer/restorer, worked full-time for over a year as a carer, and is currently a full-time bartender.
My second son at age twenty has done a year’s Art Foundation course, worked as a full-time office assistant for a year and later this year will embark on an internship in accountancy.
Who knows what any of my children will ‘end up doing,’ certainly none of them has any idea. My hopes of having a famous comedian in the family have, however, been raised recently. My third son has just announced that he’d like to study to become a lawyer.