I know that I promised to write about the Walden trip and I know that I haven't done that but I feel like I'm struggling with it. I have been reluctant to share too much of the Family of Origins (the family that I came from not the family I'm in now) here because well as you could gather from the frequent mentions of therapy its not always roses and rainbows. So with that in mind you would think that I would naturally need a soapbox or sounding board here to vent about my distorted family, but that would not be the case. I am very afraid of them finding this blog and instead of saying "man you're a good writer" or "shit you're funny" that they will be mad at me for writing about them. It is not my intention to ever hurt anyone with this blog. So I struggle with what to say when it involves the Family of Origin out of fear or some type of judgment. Needless to say I draw a blank when I think about writing about my trip where I spend 6 straight days with them.
Let me start with saying that the trip was wonderful. I enjoyed the moments and memories I made with my nieces and nephews and left with this renewed sense of my family (the three of us). I was highly successful in being the truest version of me in the context of my family. When I felt myself drifting back to old ways I focused on the intentions that I set forth in this post. I feel like it helped me stay the course and really get out of the adventure what I wanted. I might need to utilize this tactic in the future. All in all it was a major personal success. So I will share with you the players so that I can tell stories of them later.
My nephew Cee is going to be 12 in a few days. This is something that has been plaguing me since April. How can that little chunky monkey baby who I could make laugh and laugh with just my glasses be on the cusp of manhood? Personally I thought he is a weird kid. His humor, which abounds, wasn't particularly funny to me but he thinks he is a laugh a minute. He some times clings to my sister like a small child and then talks of blowing things up like he just enlisted. During the trip he spent time with my cousins' boys who are 11 and 10 years old and the three of them were like three peas in a pod. They all did really strange things that made no sense to me but had the other laughing until they fell down. It was great to see that Cee isn't awkward, he's 12 (almost). He is totally normal and apparently a laugh riot to the other boys. They bonded over braces, baseball and stupid humor. I learned from Cee that some day The Boy will repeat lines of movies I don't know and then laugh hysterically. I also learned from my sister that as Mom it is my role to just laugh along because that's what you do for your babies, regardless of age. I see my baby Cee for what he is now, a boy struggling with being a man.
As for the ladies, I have two nieces, Red and Al. Red is 9 going on 17, at times. While I think her brother's humor is lame, she keeps me in stitches. I need to practice restraint in the future when she is older to not plead to party with her and her friends because she is gonna be fun! She can hit like a boy and take a hit like a man. She was the first to jump off the dock with very little coaxing from Juanito. Her eyes are the palest gray/green/blue and her freckles pop against her strawberry blond hair. She has all the potential in the world to be nothing but trouble in the future but for now she is just awesome. My other niece, Al, is 7 but her old soul has made her a little bit like an 80 year old woman since her birth. She has always been quite matter of fact and continues to be quite a serious kid, except when it came to her Monster High Dolls or when another cousin brought Barbies. But her seriousness in this family makes her such a fantastic target. My uncle, who notoriously and mercilessly teases children of all ages, seemed to hone in on that and kept asking her if she was smoking behind the boat house. I don't know why he went with this particular line of questioning, but that's part of his teasing, its absurd and constant. She was so exasperated that he would ask her AGAIN if she was smoking. She would get up from the dinner table and he would ask her if she was going out for a smoke. She would throw her arms in the air and say NO! To her credit, she never once got mad or yelled or even cried, which I think any other child would have done. I think I ran and hide in with my Mom when he threatened to take our family dog to the wiener factory. Al just rollers her eyes. My uncle's granddaughter who is the same age as Red told the girls, "Just ignore my Grandpa." I think she has heard this a lot from her parents. For someone who takes herself so seriously, she goes with the flow quite well. I am envious of that and hope that she hangs on to this trait forever.
And the youngest crew member was Sweet S. He is 9 months old and when he is happy he is the happiest face to see and when he is sad my heart goes out to my sister because he is inconsolable. Sweet S has big blue eyes that don't miss a thing and he loves his sister, even if she does put things on his head ALL.THE.TIME. He rarely saw the ground because everyone was taking dibs on holding him.