Yes he is.
Ned, my handsome, gentle, dry-humoured boy, is a young man.
This year I’ve seen less of him than I ever have – he’s studying in London and living with his Dad – and even though we see each other often, it’s been hard. I still make the wrong amount of food and wait for him to arrive before driving off somewhere with Alan and Joy, even though he’s 350 miles away.
But what I do see, I love more than ever. I am so proud of this young man, who can talk about cricket and sociology with equal expertise, who follows politics as enthusiastically as he eats, well, pretty much everything as long as it doesn’t have mushrooms or tomatoes in it. This year, he’s learned to play bass guitar, and more-or-less decided to study in Canada, or at least live there for a year.
I’m excited by his enthusiasm for life, and glad that, at the same time, he’s grounded and happy in his own skin.
My Grandma had a saying for people like Ned, who are wise and true, and I think, if she had lived long enough to meet Ned, she’d have said it about him: “Ah, he’s been here before.” Just typing that, I can hear her saying it.
I’m glad he’s here now.