On November 11th 1998 I first became the parent of a teenager. And today I cease to be one. It's all a bit sad really. Eighteen and twenty-one are supposedly the iconic birthdays, but such a thing is made of the whole concept of teenagerhood that the twentieth birthday has an often overlooked significance.
And his twentieth birthday is what Baz/Sebastian/No.2 Son/Lockboy has today.
Read the supposedly quality press and you would think that being the parent of teenagers was an unremitting nightmare of slammed doors, rows, binge drinking, drug taking, unwashed squatters, staying out all night, shoplifting and shouted abuse - and that's just the middle class ones. Well, Baz is very untidy. But I really thought that Julie Myerson's anonymous Guardian column on living with teenagers was a spoof, so outrageous was her children's behaviour.
I don't know whether I've done something right, or just been terrifically lucky, but living with my teenagers was rarely other than a pleasure. I could count the rows with both of them put together on the fingers of one hand. Wish I knew what the secret was.
Anyway, now I don't have to worry any more about having teenagers... Adult offspring though, now that's a whole new ball game.