Why has it gone quiet?

I’m visiting my dad’s house this morning.

While I’m downstairs having a coffee and a chat I send the wee man upstairs to play with his uncle Giggie and auntie Kirsty.

For a while there’s the usual riot. Laughter, howling, screaming.

Sitting downstairs we can hear the thumps and shakes on the ceiling above us.

The grown-ups chat for some time. Then I realise something is strange.

It’s all quiet. Too quiet. Noise is welcome. Quiet means there’s something to worry about.

I call up ‘What’s going on up there?’

The wee man shouts back, ‘Nothing’.

Strangely I’m not reassured.

I go up to my room. Giggie has introduced him to the computer and he’s happily playing something called Rocket League.

His concentration is fierce and his eyes are dancing with animation. He is waggling his little feet with purpose.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s played computer games before.

But there’s something undeniably grown up about him  now sitting in his big uncle’s chair, holding the controller and staring at the huge screen.

I can’t think of any moment where I’ve seen him look less like the baby I want to remember.

I’m simultaneously a proud daddy with a little tinge of sadness.

It feels like he’s now on a course from which there is no turning back.

He gives me a little nervous glance, looking for assurance.

I tell him. ‘You’re doing just fine buddy, you’re doing just fine.’

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