If kids find work they love – great
OUR Tom has just finished his mid-year exams.
He's in Year 11 and is doing "the suicide five" - maths, English, chemistry, physics and biology, which he is also doing in Year 12.
Tom wants to do medical science as a career. Or, as he puts it, "I want to make drugs, Dad!"
He has a vision of creating concoctions that will save the world from some dreaded disease.
Personally I would like him to create a cheap alternative to Scotch, which I have found to be my saviour on many occasions.
From a 13-year-old who pushed all the wrong buttons with his teachers and thought he knew better than anyone else, Tom's settled down into a torrid regime of study to achieve his dreams.
Indeed, he has confused the teaching staff who used to look at this long-haired, one-time rebel as a waste of space.
We try to help with his studies wherever possible but, apart from English, most of what he says (especially maths and science) is double-dutch to me.
Nick, Tom's younger brother, doesn't find school as easy as his big brother - having to work harder to achieve his desired results.
Nick's got his heart set on getting into the film/TV trade.
Film and editing are his current loves and he's bloody good at it for a 14-year-old.
So good that we've asked him to put together an ad for a project we have under way.
Nick's other love is card magic and he blows us away with his dexterity and the tricks he can do.
This, from a kid who, 12 months ago, had made an artform of "52 pick-up".
Maybe Tom will end up being that doctor who saves the world and maybe Nick will direct Tom Cruise's son in the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
It's quite possible they'll head in directions they haven't even thought of yet.
All Rita and I can do is support them to the best of our ability and encourage them to live their dreams, no matter what they may be.
Tom's best mate Luke didn't take much to school and left at the end of Year 10.
Luke went out the day after he finished, looking for someone to take on a keen apprentice.
Within a week he'd been offered trades in plumbing and building.
Seems to me that the most important thing in one's working life is to do something you love.
It took me 50-odd years to do that. If your kids have a dream and get to live it, they'll do well in life.