Tuesday 17th April 2012
My beautiful baby boy is growing up.
Zephy pulled open the front door just as Zachy hit the bottom step.
“D’ya wanna come in a play for 5 minutes?” He blurted out.
He has been waiting since 5.30 for him to come home. It’s now 6.40.
“I’m going to get some beans for my Daddy,” He replied a bit taken aback by Zephy’s sudden appearance. “I’ll come back.”
His two best friends in the whole world, Theo & Zachy, live five floors above us. We hear them leave for school most mornings & generally catch them just in time for a quick game of footie on there way home. The 3 of them have lived in each other’s pockets since birth. They are Zephy’s surrogate siblings. They rearly argue but they do tussle for supremacy from time to time.
Theo is the oldest, weighing in at a double figured 10 years old. He’s a typical eldest child making most of the decisions for the collective. He’s a quiet boy in contrast to my son, Zephyrus. Cautious of adults, but in his element when running around with a ball on the concrete concourse in front of our flats. I have a lot of time for Theo, & much to his annoyance, persist with trying to make eye contact & keep his attention. In return, he humours me & quietly grins at my endless stream of ‘Dad jokes’. A far exchange from my point of view.
Zachy is the baby of the group clocking in at nearly 8, & is quite different from his older brother. He has a broad toothless smile that is often encircled by chocolate. Being the youngest, Zachy works hard to gain pole-position. He’s a feisty kids who’s not averse to thumping a fellow football player if he gets unfairly treated. I like kids with character & passion both of which he has in bucket loads.
Zephyrus fits squarely in the middle of the two at 9 years old next month, whereby he is constantly trying to catch up with Theo, while at the same time keeping one step ahead of Zachy. Needless to say, it keeps him on his toes.
Zachy returned 5 mintes later, tin of baked beans in hand, & immediately got down to business; football trading card analysis.
After a while Ben, Zachy’s Dad, called in search of beans & so Zachy headed up for dinner.
“You couldn’t pop down & get me an onion could you Zeph?” I asked realising that I hadn’t been as efficient as I had thought with my shopping list.
“What, downstairs?” He replied.
“Yeah.” I said rummaging around in my bag looking for my purse.
Below our building are two business premises. One is an architects office & the other is a corner shop. It sells a bit of everything & is very handy at times like this. The two Indian guys who work there, are there from 8am until 11pm seven days a week & I am very grateful to them & therefore try to give them as much business as I can, no matter how small.
In the past Zephy has been a bit scared to go down the one flight of stairs, out the front door & out of my sight. Telling me; “I’m not old enough to go out on my own yet Dad.” but today he excepts his mission, presumable spurred on by Zachy’s bravery or maybe just because he didn’t want to be out done by him. I used to run similar inane errands for my Mum when I was a kid. On reflection, I was probably a bit older but would always jump at the chance to assert my independence. There was also the chance to get myself a 10p mix-up with the change which was a good incentive.
I watched Zeph turn the corner of the front door & slip out of sight before going back inside to give him some room to grow.
Two minutes later he returned tumbling the onion across the wooden work top.
“Can I keep the change?” He asked holding onto the change from a €10 note.