I must be the most annoying person to have as a son.
I'm a radio announcer (someone who likes to talk and thinks they're funny and likes attention — ew I sound horrid on paper), a columnist (someone who likes to write about their family especially), I'm a large human and always have been, so I would've cost extra to raise (food bill at least), I'm opinionated, emotional, overly independent, internalise my problems and occasionally get eczema.
What a prospect I am.
Yet still, a couple of oldies love me.
I don't think I'll ever get it until I have kids of my own one day. Like, how do you love someone "unconditionally" who is just so annoying?!
I have two toddler nephews. My sister and brother-in-law love them unconditionally, even when they won't sleep, have a tantrum over Paw Patrol, or do a poo on the dragon's head outside Kmart in Bayfair.
To be fair, I love them unconditionally too. But in a different way to my sister.
My 72-year-old parents are up from Wellington on holiday and staying with me at the moment. (See, I'm even the annoying son who gives out their age willy-nilly.)
Don't get me wrong, they have their own annoying traits — as all parents do, am I right?
No better highlighted by the two hours they spent in Noel Leeming yesterday buying new cellphones. Matching ones. To be fair though, when you haven't upgraded your cellphone for 20 years, it's gonna take some time to get your head around a new Samsung.
I'm not kidding either — Mum's old phone was an original Nokia flip-phone.
Shout out the 19-year-old fella, Mike, who guided them through the process of upgrading from a phone that was released before he was born!
But since Mum and Dad have been up here, I've ordered them around, made them eat certain foods, hassled them about their house being too big for them now, been late to meet them, rolled my eyes a million times, told them how to do washing and I even told them they were watching television in the wrong way. It's TV, the point of it is to watch what you want, how you want.
I'm an annoying son.
Outside of all of those annoying times, over the last couple of years I've actually tried to think about things from their point of view more often.
I've tried to think about how time with loved ones is limited on all fronts. So why not fill it with fun times and laughs and a little love here and there, instead of just being 'at' each other like families invariably are.
I'm not sure why it's taken me until my 30s to have that perspective, but now I have it I feel like I can maximise my time spent with them.
Still though, they are a bit annoying occasionally.
Lucky it's not genetic.
— Will Johnston is the local 9am-3pm host for The Hits Bay of Plenty 95FM. He's also a celebrant and MC. Follow Will on Instagram on @radiowill.