Oscar was a brave little boy and a bit of a dare devil, perhaps as a result of having three elder brothers with whom he tried to compete. He was also a self sufficient and independent child as he had to do so much more for himself than other children of his age because of my increasing MS.
At one of his first birthday parties we took him and his friends to an indoor play park. Oscar threw himself at all the apparatus that was there and showed no timidity at all, unlike several of his friends. On one occasion his enthusiasm got the better of him, however! A new climbing frame had been installed at Bosvigo School. Oscar was keen to be the first child in his class to have a go, so he rushed out, climbed on to it but then fell off and broke his arm!
At the age of 14 there was an opportunity to do a bungee jump in the car park at the Truro City football ground. Oscar was the youngest person who did this and we had to give special permission as his parents. As a result of his bravery he raised some money for the local MS society.
When Oscar was at primary school his teacher was talking about the Cathedral and Oscar wrote an account of various details that he must have learnt in the lesson, ending with the words “I think the Cathedral is boring” – in stark contrast to his older brother, Jonathan! Oscar clearly liked painting as the one of the Cathedral, done at primary school, shows, and also a geometric one that I have by my bed.
When Oscar was about five, and his brothers were all talking about football teams they supported, he decided that he should support a team. Henry gave him a picture of Stoke City who happened to be the team in his football magazine that week. Oscar was just starting to read at the time and said that he would be supporting Sock City, which he still does. When he was due to go to University Oscar, not too surprisingly, applied to Keele which was near Stoke, and he got a 2:1 there reading psychology and sociology. We gave him a season ticket for his 21st birthday present and he was at the ground when Stoke were promoted to the Premier League.
Before he went to University Oscar did a Gap year in Ghana where he worked with local teenagers. When it was time to come home, Oscar did not return by the conventional route. Instead he explained to us that he had met a guy with a land rover who was driving back across the Sahara desert and needed a co-driver! Oscar was happy to oblige!
After university Oscar did a conversion course at law school and is now finishing his training contract with a London based legal firm and hopes soon to qualify as a family lawyer.
I enjoyed having four boys; they are all very distinctive characters as I hope these pieces show. Luckily they all get on well and have encouraged and supported each other particularly in relation to my illness and how it affects the wider family. We have had many holidays together at Singleton in North Cornwall and they all still love going there. Between them they have given me three grandsons and one granddaughter to add to the Smith family’s collection of people!