This weekend I headed upstate (from where I now type on my parents oversized keyboard… I’m much more comfortable on a laptop) and one of my first visits was with my favourite 5-year-old in the world. After two hours of enduring his lesson on how to master Star Wars on Playstation, we finally peeled away from all electronic media. Upon doing so, he once again had trouble with remembering my name (it happens in spurts) and said “sometimes my memory does good and sometimes it doesn’t. I have two different memories.” I pretended to forget his, at which point he told me he’s lucky his name is not “Nickel-ee-o-deon” because then everyone would think he’s just a tv and he’s not. So, I kept calling him Nickelodeon for the sake of his protests. While he played video games, he would catch the bits of conversation between his mom and me, particularly when I talked about my work as a showgirl at the Star-Wars-Vegas-themed bar mitzvah. Instantly his ears perked up and he wanted to have a Star Wars party, I told him he would be a good spy with his sneaky ears and that he had to have a bar mitzvah for Yoda to show up. His mother instantly scolded me, teasingly shouting, “You’re going to turn my kid into a Jewish spy! I don’t know if I want you around my son anymore.” Ha ha.
Before we ventured out for some ice cream, “Nickelodeon” asked me if I wanted a hot drink or cold drink (his mom pressured him into being a better host to his “best friend”) and I said I wanted water. He asked if I wanted cold or hot and I said I prefer my water lukewarm or room temperature, and he decided to mix hot and cold from the water tank. The ratio was a bit off, as he favoured the hot but he tried his best to accomodate my demands and it was absolutely adorable as I nearly burned my tongue on the scalding water.
“Nickelodeon” and his black gum. What fool decided to put black gum on these pops? It looks like he bit on a squid.
The rain let up for a few minutes as I took my cousin for some ice cream, and he ordered the Sponge Bob pop. Lord, it was nasty and when he complained I took a bit and had to hide my grimace. Next door to the ice cream shop is a nursery and flower stand and “Nickelodeon” wanted to take me to see the flowers. The fertilizer was so offensive as he grabbed my hand he used his free hand to plug his nose. I replied, “Thanks. I love to hold a sticky hand.”
“I don’t think you mean that,” he replied and switched hands with me. I laughed and told him he caught on to my sarcasm faster than most adults do. For the rest of the day, any quip on my end would be quickly matched with his declaration, “Hey!!! I think you’re being sarcasm again!!”
The first guy to give me flowers all year. Note, his chin is still black.
We headed back to my parents house for a few hours and I took “Nickelodeon” for a walk into nature and my childhood memories. The tree in my parents backyard has recently died and given my cousin’s love of nature, he had a hard time dealing with plants dying. I had forgotten about his recent attempt to keep ants out of his hole-laden sock by using a roll of Scotch tape and failed to realize that the kid has issues with ants. When I explained that the ants had taken over my parents tree, he became instantly passionate and on the verge of tears. “I hate those ants! Why did the devil have to make ants? The devil’s up to no good! I wish God would kill all the ants.” Apparently, he’s been recently introduced to the idea of the “devil” and anything that is considered bad to him is just the work of the devil. This list includes and is not limited to: ants, Darth Vader, worms, snakes, ticks, and people who make black gumballs for kids to chew (actually the last one is my idea of bad. That devil is up to no good).
Before the monsoon weather began again, I introduced my little best friend to cat-tails and he decided that instead of building a hut, they should be used to clean the street. He felt that these country roads are just too dirty and dedicated ten minutes to cleaning up the streets. I took him home after a mutually exhausting and productive day. Our next adventure is to go fishing on the lake when I return, but I don’t know how he’s going to catch anything without using some worms. He’s going to have to disassociate them from the devil. I think we may have to go turtle and frog hunting instead.
Sunday, my family decided to go to an honoring breakfast for the trooper who was recently shot. My dad, when town supervisor, had become familiar with the guy and my grandfather has always been a strong supporter of these events and the weekly firehouse breakfast. Now, my mom forgot to wake me, and last minute began pounding on the bedroom door. I had simply five minutes to get ready, but I learned my lesson years ago- always leave the house with a face of makeup, brushed teeth, and styled hair. It’s a rule. My mom, on the other hand, has the vanity of a nun. I like to keep a low profile at these functions, but it was hard when we arrived at the firehouse and everyone knows my parents, my grandfather, and yes… even me, if only by default. Not five minutes into the breakfast, the WTEN news crew arrives! Camera and reporter to cover the event, and WHO out of the thirty tables in that joint do they approach? Us! I had my head completely turned, certain the only words to come out of my mouth would be utterly controversial, and I didn’t know the guy. My mom, on the other hand, hair sticking up, face without makeup, and coffee spilt before her, volunteers to start talking. I wish I could’ve fixed her up in time, but she gave her heartfelt condolences before guiding the crew to the rest of the town legislation. My father, smiling proudly, whispers to me, “She’s my best asset. She’s just so good talking to people and so good politically.”
I really hope to have a solid relationship as my parents have, but with my taste in falling in love with men who like to flee, it could take awhile. That afternoon we went to a church confirmation party for family friends, and my mother was all too eager to see me hold a baby. I know she longs to be a grandmother, and with my sister’s life path, I’m sure she will be soon. This weekend was a strong reminder of how much I absolutely love children, and when the time’s right, I’d want a whole pack. HOWEVER, looking at the struggling mother of five who birthed the gorgeous child I held, I offer my sympathy and positive thoughts. I’m going to bask in my independance so long as it exists. I was proud to be the only shoulder the newborn found and slept consistently on for an hour, but credit is due to my mother who actually calmed the dear down. In the back of the photo, you may note Channel 10 is playing and sure enough, the shot of our family at the benefit breakfast was the opening of the 6 o’clock news! Sure enough, my mom, sans makeup managed to make the cut. And after our chaotic day, I visited my best friend and lounged in her family’s hot tub, overlooking the stars, the bright moon, and the boats that lit up the Hudson River. It was quite a day in a bucolic town.