I've spent a good amount of my time at this particular coffee shop, because it has good coffee. It's where I'm sitting right now. Sitting here day after day, watching the people come and go, it's made me notice that people seem to have their kids super young over here, and people my age seem to have three little ones by now. Biologically it's not super young, just culturally, by our standards I guess.
I was looking at one of these young families in the coffee shop before and saw something very adorable happen. The troop consisted of a Mum, a Dad and three little boys. I'd say a five year old, a three year old and a little one in a pram, perhaps 18 months old. The older two—lets call them ElderPaddy and MidPaddy—were those good behaved types that seem to calmly observe the world around them, rather than crazily get up in the world's grill like
Midbro and Elderbro used to some other boys might. I guess they were getting rewarded for being that way, because the parents had bought them a shortbread to share and boy were they loving that shortbread fully sick. The little guy in the pram, TinyPaddy, was looking on, something the Mum noticed, prompting her to say:
"Boys, perhaps you could give TinyPaddy a bit of your shortbread".
MidPaddy was on to it straight away, instantly shoving the rest of his shortbread into his mouth and shaking his head earnestly. ElderPaddy looked panicked for a split second, then his shoulders sank, he sighed and he got up. He walked over to TinyPaddy's pram and gave him a bit of shortbread about the size of a penny while sadly gazing out the window.
The whole display was completely hilarious and also a little touching and made me miss my bros and my Mate and Baby and Newbie and Niecey and Little Nut so damned much. I guess the experience was not peculiar to Belfast, or to young families, but it's where I saw it so it makes me think of these things together. And how nice Belfast is. It's made me think about how nice Belfast is. Come, if you get the chance.