Jeff was the younger twin. He was bigger and more sturdily built. At twelve, his bicep’s were beginning to develop and he was already having darker upper lips, the beginning of a beard. He was also growing pubic hair. Jeff had an air of responsibility around him and always found a way to resolve issues. Mom depended more on his strength than mine. He was like a replacement of dad while I remained the baby of the house.
It was dinner time. Dinner also doubled as our family bonding time. Here, issues of the day were raised and discussed. The future was planned and we generally had fun. We also prayed, laughed and cried with each other on the dinner table.
Mother announced that dinner was set and we virtually flew out of our beds into the dining room. Such was the anticipation. Hi! Mother we both echoed, pecking her on both cheeks simultaneously as was our norm. She wasn’t looking cheerful and this got us confused. We all sat down, grace was said and we started eating, making small talks to cheer mom up and get her to spill what bugged her.
Ok boys, mom started. Grandpa called and this time has insisted you both spend the remaining part of summer with him in the country. My eyes shone and almost popped out of their sockets with glee as I let out a whoop of joy. Whoot whoot!! Mama this is the best news we’ve heard in . . . the words got stuck in my throat as my brother hit me on the lap under the dining chair. That was when I noticed mom did not see it as good news.
You know how hard it is for me to let you boys out of my sight and care. I know you are growing and need fatherly guidance but without your dad I can hardly trust any other person with you. What with all the evil going on in this age. I’d never forgive myself if you came to any harm; she said and blew her nose into a handkerchief.
We immediately flew to her sides, giving her a big hug. I felt very bad that her bad news was my good news. I am really sorry you feel this way mom, but you know what, we don’t have to go if you don’t feel comfortable about it. I hate it when you are heartbroken, I said, hugging her tighter.
Mom, Jeff started. I really appreciate your undying love and care for us from birth till now. But mom, we are growing up and will not be with you forever. As much as I hate to say this, grandpa is right. I most times feel the absence of a father figure and wish grandpa was closer or that you could give us a dad. I know it’s hard for you but you need to let us go, slowly. Grandpa raised you into the beautiful, strong woman that you are today, why wouldn’t you trust us with him? He is your dad and is not kidnapping us. Cheer up mom. We will not be gone forever, at least not yet that is if you let us. Jeff said jokingly.
It was characteristic of Jeff to sound matured and all wise. He could speak his mind with little or no consideration for other’s feelings. Mom sat up and put on a wry smile. I know I have to let you go at some point son’s, but then I would be assured that you can take care of yourselves.
That said, dinner continued in silence as the thought of going to be with grandpa for four whole weeks excited me. I could not wait to be alone with Jeff so I could dance on springs. Grandpa is always fun to be with. He is full of wisdom and easy to talk to. I made a mental note of everything I would love to discuss with him, especially about the changes going on in my body. My growing attraction to the opposite sex was also a concern which I needed to talk to grandpa about.
Hey Jax, what’s that smile? Why are you grinning from ear to ear as if you just won the lottery? Jeff asked me. Whoops! I am in fantasy land brother, going fishing with grandpa, storytelling, the long drives, and hiking, outdoor cooking and camping, you just name it.
How about waking up very early every day? The long trek to church every single morning for one month? That too is fun right? Asked Jeff. I could endure that for a whole year only to be around grandpa, I replied. Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, I sang as I did the spring dance. Jeff soon joined me in dancing as he could not contain his excitement.