Wednesday, June 23, 2021

60 in 60 #3 Zachariah

 60 in 60 #3 Zachariah

I am reflecting on the last 60 years, and writing 60 blog posts in 60 days. 30 about people and 30 about events and experiences.


My first child, Zachariah, (The Heir) was born on May 29, 1986. It was one of the greatest days of my life. The miracle of birth, the start of a new life, the instant flood of love and endorphins are all indelible memories. There also came a dawning recognition of the awesome responsibility of parenthood. Zach was an awesome kid, especially considering he endured our many missteps as parents. By the time the 4th one came along we had chilled out considerably and Zach has said more than once how much easier the younger boys got it! Sorry mate, we tried our best and learnt along the way. The result though was an exceptional man. I could not be prouder of my son. He is wise. He is calm and cool in a crisis. He is loyal and strong. He is a brilliant
big brother, right from the time Sophie was born, followed by Jordan and Paul. Many many times he has stepped in to help the other three Holt kids in a variety of ways when they were in need. Zach has charted his own course with thoughtfulness and maturity. I respect his opinions and enjoy talking with him about more than just the footy and the Cats’ fortunes ( although that is one of my favourite topics of conversation).

A few incidents stand out from the last 30+ years of being Zach’s Dad. 

One night when he was about 10 I forgot to pick him up from soccer training, only realising my mistake when I arrived home without him. Horrified, I jumped in the car and raced off to get him. I found him walking home, having trekked a few kilometres. He was not upset or bothered and didn’t go crook at me. I apologised profusely and offered compensation in the form of “Do you want to go to McDonalds?”. “No I’m fine, let’s just go home”. 


In 2000 I took Zach (13) and Sophie (11) to the Olympic Games in Sydney. We had a brilliant time, including seeing Cathy Freeman run several times. We stayed with friends and had to catch two trains to get to Homebush each day. There were huge crowds each night and a great festive atmosphere as we all made our way home. On about the fourth night Sophie and I got separated from Zach in the queues at the train station. I wasn’t worried but it was a little perturbing when he didn’t get off the train at our stop. About an hour later (around midnight I think) he came happily down the stairs having had quite an adventure. The train he boarded didn’t stop at the transfer station so he had to get off and catch a train back but it didn’t stop there either. A third train finally got him to the right station from where he caught the connecting train and arrived safely. He was calm and confident as he recounted his experience and my faith in him was confirmed. 


When we made the move from Perth to Busselton in 2004 Zach was in year 12. Rather than disrupt his final year of school we arranged for him to board with a family in Perth and stay at Carine high school. It was the first step in a series of transitions from adolescence to adulthood for Zach. He next went to Tasmania to do a six month youthwork course with Fusion and from there went on placement to Britain, working with Fusion and a local church youth group for eighteen months. The friendships and experience gained led to him working as a school chaplain at an alternative school in Perth upon his return to Australia. (You may recognise some similarities in our life journey by now). I love you Zach.


Unknown said...

Oh boy, seems I am not going to get through many of these without some tears. Love you too Zac.

Anonymous said...

Zach is a cool dude and I have had the pleasure of spending some time with him... the golf course in 2016 being the most recent. I too am proud of his sense of adventure... no continent is out of bounds for him. Thx PF