Look out, world. Today is the day Zippy the Monkey Boy turns 18.
It’s the day he’s been looking forward to for a long, long time. He likes to think that, just because the law considers him an adult now, that he’ll be treated like an adult here at Casa de Dude.
His mom and I don’t like to disillusion him* about stuff like this, but he’s really not going to be treated as if he’s a house guest. Okay, we’ll probably not cut up his food and wipe his mouth for him, but he’s still a kid in our hearts.
At least until he’s the one who pays for dinner when we go out, but that’s a separate thing entirely.
Today, we come to praise Zippy the Monkey Boy, not to bury him.
With a name like Zippy the Monkey Boy, you’d think he was the one who was always running around, knocking things over and flinging poop all over the walls. He was. But that wasn’t why he got the name. He got the name because he took to climbing like greased-up pigs take to sliding.
He never did learn to crawl. Instead, he kept low crawling until he could stand up and walk. He wanted the extra height, you see.
Once he got up on two feet, it was only a matter of time until he started seeing the fences and stuff we’d put up around the play area, not as a thing blocking his way so he’d better turn around, but as another toy, something we put there so he could have fun climbing and dropping.
That was what we listened to when he was a baby. That thump. We’d hear it and know he’d found his way over another obstacle and we should be expecting his arrival any moment. Diapers were a wonderful thing for Zippy the Monkey Boy. Great cushion. Of course, if it were already a full diaper before he climbed and dropped, we got to clean a lot of flung stuff after.
He’s kept it up. One of my favorite pictures of him shows him high up in a tree, screaming out his triumph for having climbed that high. He was 15 when we took that picture. He likes to climb is what I’m saying.
His other most distinguishing feature through the years has been his love of animals. This is a little dude that has wanted to be a zoologist since he knew someone could actually tell people he was going to study animals all his life and people would be okay with it. Now he’s going off to one of the best marine science schools in the country so he can make the study of sharks his life work. If nothing else, it shows he’s able to find a goal and stick with it.
Zippy the Monkey Boy is getting ready to head off to Wilmington to try his act out down there, along the beaches, among the co-eds and out on his (metaphorical) own. Sure I’m worried.
But only a little. I have the feeling Zippy the Monkey Boy is going to keep on climbing, always reaching for something just out of his reach and finding a way to get it and then seeing the next thing just a little higher up.
It’s been an adventurous 18 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 18 bring.
Ook, Ook, Zip.
*no, that’s a lie. We love disillusioning him. It’s such fun.