I'm no different to any other south Dublin parent. If my kid took a shit in a cup, I'd say he was a genius
Most kids get excited when they see an ice cream van. With my son it was always, like, cash in transit vans. All it took was for one of those little babies to drive past and you’d literally lose him for that moment, his mouth slung open like an idiot, his eyes spinning like a couple of pinwheels at the thought of what if?
Well, old habits die hord. Ronan’s waiting for me outside the bank on O’Connell Street, his eyes fixed on the big, armoured truck that’s come to deliver to the old doe-ray-me.
He’s watching the men carry the money in cases into the bank and I can tell from the concentration on his little face that he’s counting to see how long it takes each one to reach the door.
I can nearly hear his thoughts: “One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi.” Probably doesn’t even know he’s doing it. Comes as naturally to him as a dog sniffing piss off a lamppost.
“You wouldn’t get 20 yords,” I go.
He doesn’t look at me. He’s like, “Ine pretty fast on me feet, Rosser.” That’s actually true. He’s like a young Denis Hickie.
I’m like, “But even if you did get away with one, aren’t they fitted with, like, dye deployment devices?”
He looks at me for the first time. It’s like I’ve just told him that Bohemians were relegated. “Ine allowed to dream, ardent I?”
We both watch the van drive away, then Ro goes, “Happy beertday in anyhow,” and I tell him thanks and then we hit, like, Eddie Rocket’s.
We order, roysh, and I can’t help but stare at him across the table. He’s actually, like, taller than me now? And all of the puppy fat has gone from his face. He’ll be 16 soon and that’s when it hits me for possibly the first time – the boy has become a man.
I end up just shaking my head. It seems like only yesterday that he was a kid, shouting, “ACAB!” at the Liaison Gorda in Finglas. I know I’m patting myself on the back here, but I’ve done an amazing, amazing job as a father.
“I was wonthering,” he goes, suddenly looking up from his Classic with bacon and cheese fries, “is there any chance I could boddow some money?”
I’m like, “What kind of money are we talking?”
He doesn’t bat an eyelid, just goes, “Five grant.”
I nod, taking the whole thing in my basic stride. “And do you mind me asking what the money’s for?” He looks away. He obviously doesn’t want to say.
I’m there, “Look, Ro, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a father if I just handed you five Ks without asking you why you wanted it.” Actually, that’s horseshit. I regularly ask my old man for five Ks and he coughs it up no questions asked.