Every time I drop my teenage son off at his mother’s after staying with me for the weekend, he waves me off with a look of intense poignancy that tears me apart. He has stayed over almost every weekend since he was six months old. I am his father and his friend. And I’m also guilt-stricken because I can’t be there for him all the time, the way I think I should be.
My late-teens son, Padawan Nerd-in-Training, rarely listens when I offer advice. I can see his eyes glazing and his brain slowly switching off the brilliant lecture I have so carefully devised. He becomes a literal “brick wall”.