Tag Archives: Zippy The Monkey

Another Peek At The Future

by Richard

The future keeps breaking through into the present, usually in ways we never thought it would.

For instance, today I’m getting ready to take Sarcasmo on a trip to Idaho for a look at another bit of education. I’m coming back. He’s not.

Hyper Lad is away at Camp Cheerio.

The only one of the young dudes still home is Zippy the Monkey Boy, who just returned from a near-month-long trip to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia (makes me wish I was one of my own kids) and is getting ready to head off to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in just about a month.

So we’re down to one kid, two adults, two cats, a dog and a bird.

Yeah, the nest officially is getting a little bit emptier.

Especially considering Zippy the Monkey Boy is the type to sleep in until someone goes into his room and tips his bed over onto the floor. Mornings are going to be pretty quiet for the next little while.

I guess it’s something I’ll have to get used to.

When school starts up Aug. 27, it’s going to be quite real and quite quiet.

Hyper Lad is off to school by 8:30 am and that’s it. Nothing to do with kids until he gets home near 5 pm.

Still not sure how this is going to work. I mean, I haven’t had to cook for only three people (one child) for a long, long time. I have a feeling I’m going to be making a lot of accidental leftovers for the first couple of months.

Maybe I can buy that huge storage fridge I’ve had my eye on for a while. Get a place to put the stuff away . . . Well, realistically, never look at it again. Making leftovers? Yeah, I’m good at that. Serving leftovers? Not so much.

Of course, with Zippy the Monkey Boy leaving the house, our grocery bill will almost immediately come down a substantial amount since I’ll no longer have to buy his, and his alone, normal ration of 2.5 gallons of milk per week.

Ah well. That’s in the future, which is only waving hi this week. I’m sure it’ll be coming for a much longer visit next month.

Until then. . .

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School’s Out

by Richard

School’s out for summer!

I’ll pause here to allow the cheers and screams and sheer undulations of joy to subside from the young dude peanut gallery that’s now got far too much time on its hands.

All done? Good.

Anyway, it’s an odd last day of school here at Casa de Dude. Sarcasmo bounced back from college during the first semester of last year, so he’s been out of school. Zippy the Monkey Boy went to a private school and had all A’s in his classes so didn’t have to study for or take final exams so he’s been out for several weeks and only had to go back to school last week to graduate.

It’s only Hyper Lad who’s counting today as the official first day of summer. The price we pay for allowing them to get older, I guess.

I still say we should dip them in amber sometime around six or so. That way, they never have to get into that cynical or sarcastic phase in which all parents are idiots and the world stinks. And we never have to deal with pre-puberty and puberty mood swings.

Unfortunately, every time I bring that up, people start looking at me strange and I get a visit from child protective services.

Anyway.

It’s been difficult to keep Hyper Lad on task these last couple of weeks, what with his brothers home and not doing any sort of school. He is seriously ticked off that he can’t stay up late and sleep late and not go to school. Not that I blame him, of course. I mean, since his End of Grade tests have ended a couple of weeks back, he’s been doing — essentially — nothing of value in school.

Still, it’s something all school-age dudes have to suffer through.

Now it’s all over. School’s out for the summer, so no more eight hours of school each day, and the young dudes get to stay home all the time.

Which is something all parent-age dudes have to suffer through.

Even with a house full of young dudes, all filled to the brim with a horrible concoction of hormones and energy, there still is something worthwhile to cling to: only a little over two months until school starts again.

Nah. Just kidding. I love having them home. I don’t have to harangue anyone about homework or tests or projects or getting up on time to get to school.

And I get a little more face time, another vanishingly small unit of time before they’re out of the house (hopefully) for good.

So school’s out and it’s time for fun.

Well, they get to have fun. For parents, it’s just more of the same. Only hotter. With more kids underfoot.

Don’t trip.

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Another One Bites The Diploma

by Richard

Another year later, another big group of family coming to town as we watch another Jones boy walk across that stage, grab a diploma and hope nobody realizes they made a mistake and keeps him in high school.

Well, no, it’s really not that bad. In this case, it’s actually pretty great.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is graduating high school today and he’s doing it as his class salutatorian, which means he had the second-best grade-point average in his class. As such, he has to make a short speech during graduation.

He tried to dump the responsibility off on me, but I just let it bounce right back. As of Thursday night, he still hadn’t written a word. Graduation occurs today at 11 am. He says he works best under pressure. I can’t wait to tape this and then play it back for him the next time he says that stupid saying.

His mom and I are really proud of Zippy the Monkey Boy. In eighth grade, he was struggling, both academically and socially, and turning into a real sea urchin of a person, all spiky and prickly and somebody no one wanted to be around. Going to The Fletcher School, a private school for dudes and dudettes with learning disabilities, changed all that.

Thanks to fantastic teachers and administrators, Zippy the Monkey Boy became reenergized academically and not only enjoyed most of the work he was doing, but he actually looked forward to it. Socially, he started growing again, making friends and finding out that people actually could be good and were fun to be around.

That’s a lot of growth to pack into just four years. And he did it all while also discovering the joys of competitive basketball, flag football, cross country and, of course, girls.

The most important skill Zippy the Monkey Boy learned was how to climb trees on his own. I hardly ever had to get on his case to get him to do a project or remind him of an upcoming test. Sure, a lot of that was due to how The Fletcher School was run, but I’m hoping enough of that was innate that some will come through when he starts college at University of North Carolina Wilmington in the fall.

He’s already looking forward to that. I think, in his mind, he’s skipped the whole tedious graduation thing and is, even now, checking into his new dorm room and saying good-bye to the anchors (which would be his parents).

His mom and I, though, still are firmly rooted in the now. We’re going to smile and, maybe, cry just a little as our second young dude walks through another milestone on his way to his own life. This is the big one. Zippy the Monkey Boy is moving out of Casa de Dude, heading off to make his own nest and, we’re sure, make a whole lot of mistakes. We’re just hoping he’ll be able to straighten them out on his own.

It’s like Thomas Wayne, father to Bruce, said: “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Here’s to you, Zippy the Monkey Boy. You’ve made it through the hardest part of your life. What you didn’t know was that now we get to add two little words to that. Those words? So far. The hardest part of your life. . . so far. Now you get to do it all over again and this time you get to do it on your own.

The good news is that I know he can do it. He’s one of the most stubborn people on the face of the planet and, hopefully, his mother and I have taught him to use his powers for good, not evil

He’s moving from the Falcons to the Seahawks, but he’s still going to soar.

Congratulations, dude. We love you.

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