I was sitting talking to a friend’s daughter tonight. I don’t remember how we got on the subject but she casually mentioned that she was born in 1993, the year I graduated from high school. At first I was only horrified that she was just being born when I was graduating from high school. Then it hit me, almost in slow motion, I am old enough to be her mother, without much stretch of the imagination. She could be my child.
I could have an 18 year old child right now. Oh my. I’m not ready for that. UGH! I was already feeling old since Mikey and Jordy are 11 and 8.
I’m not ready for these kinds of realities.
My nephews are a never-ending supply of joy, hilarity and levity. Spending time with them always makes me feel better. They have a way of drawing you into the moment. Can’t worry about the future or the past when they’re in the middle of something mischievous and potentially dangerous right this second.
For posterity here are a few recent nephew moments:
1. Tonight Jordy was playing on the computer while I watched TV. I turned to him to ask what he was doing. His said without skipping a beat: shopping for happiness.
2. We were driving down the road and out of the blue Jordy says, “You know you’re not the only aunt we have.” OK. How do you respond to that. He’s a child. He doesn’t know he’s driving daggers into my heart. My first insecure response is, “But I’m your only real aunt since your mom doesn’t have any sisters.” Then Mikey pipes up, “And you’re the only one we connect with emotionally and spiritually.” Score one for Mikey, he does love me. LOL.
3. I will be watching the boys tomorrow morning because they have the day off from school. Jordy loves to cook so I told him we would make some chocolate chip cookies. He said, “That’s too simple we need to show off how well we can cook.” After all, last time we made muffins and he said it was an advanced cooking class with his aunt. Although his suggestion was a soufflé. I have no idea where he heard that. He has no idea what a soufflé is.
Today was Mikey’s 11th birthday. It’s a lot of pressure to make a child’s birthday spectacular in absence of his parents. Mikey is an aloof, moody pre-teen. He doesn’t get excited about a whole lot and usually complains about everything. LOL. Gotta love the awkward age. But its a true joy when you can pierce through his burgeoning coolness and get ahold of the 1/3 of him still a child and bring out the glee. That was my quest.
During a hearty breakfast of waffles and milk we forged a plan for the day. We finally decided on the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame and a big fancy mall in Cleveland. Mikey is a music fiend and was anxious to see what’s there. Unfortunately road construction slowed our roll and it took us nearly two hours to make the 45 mile trek north. It was funny, but the roadblock proved to be an adventure. Mikey and Jordy wanted to me to pretend that we were in Midnight Run and mow through traffic on the shoulder. We didn’t but we did venture to parts unknown to find our ways past the mess. They were satisfied with the mini-adventure and it also afforded the opportunity to car dance. Never enough opportunity to do that. We laughed and had a great time.
However, the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame was not as much fun for us at the traffic on the way up. The boys were bored in like five minutes and keep asking where the interactive exhibits were. I think they had more fun on the escalators and the giant guitars in the lobby than they did the museum. So we left after about an hour. I don’t not recommend the Rock-N-Roll hall of Fame for children. They didn’t even know who any of the artists were and nothing of interest for them.
To redeem the day we went to the Zoo, when in doubt go to the animals. They loved it. We saw rhinos, bats, snakes, leopards, lions, oh my. There was lots to play on, run by and sit near. They even rode a camel. I actually saw the illusive Mikey smile several times. We had a blast and again we were exhausted. They slept all the way home and it was all I could do to stay awake.
We had his birthday dinner at Red Robin, where he got to eat off the adult menu, the kid’s menu is for those 10 and under. In spite of many protests we still have them come and sing. He loved it.
So it was a good birthday in deed. Its amazing how the unplanned moments are the best. I’m also amazed at how much work it is to take care of kids. They suck every ounce of energy out of your body. I can hardly think. I have a new found respect for mothers, working mothers and especially single mothers. I think I heard, “Aunt Marti” said about 9,000 times today. Getting them to bed bring a sigh of relief and a giant collapse on the couch. I am mentally, physically and emotionally tired. But having Mikey enjoy his day was worth it and priceless.