Saturday, December 30, 2006

My new best friend

At family gatherings, I used to be the youngest. I am the baby of my generation. My father is the youngest of his siblings and I'm the product of his second marriage, making me younger than my nearest cousin by more than ten years. By the time I was 11 or 12, though, I wasn't the youngest anymore because my cousins started having children. The oldest of these (my first cousins once removed) met my grandfather, their great-grandfather, when they were babies. I was privileged to witness several of these meetings and I have a very fond memories of my grandpa playing with his adorable great-grand-babies. And it's my privilege to be able to tell some of my cousins about these meetings. They are now graduated from college and the oldest is 25! Full grown adults who I've know since babyhood.

When these kids started showing up at family gatherings, I stopped trying to get my older cousins' attention and started playing with them. I always have a better time with the kids. They don't expect so much and are usually delighted if you simply witness their play, even if you don't have any good games to contribute.

At this gathering, I seem to have made a new best friend: my 2.5 year old nephew, Silas. We met B1 and family on the way here for lunch. Somehow, I came up with a game Silas liked, which involved him running at me and getting tickled upon arrival. He is a very cute boy, and while I love my nieces, they don't seem that interested in me. Maybe they will get interested again, but, for now, Silas has taken a fancy to me and I'm loving every minute. There are tons of other under-five kids here and we do occasionally play with them too, but Silas likes to make sure that I'm nearby.

It's not that I don't want to talk to my cousins, my stepsisters, my dad, a variety of family friends...but Silas is so much cuter than any of them.

What has today been like? I got up at 6:30am after falling asleep around 10pm. I woke at 2:30, went back to sleep, then woke again at 5:30. Even at 6 it was still dark outside. And if it were light, I would have been up earlier. My "place" does not have a proper door, but a wall of glass with a sliding door as the main entrance. Privacy is granted by wooden venetian blinds. The ceiling slopes, though, so the upper part of the wall of windows is uncovered. In addition, there is a skylight directly over the bed. (Un)fortunately, it's winter, so no early morning light to wake me. Rather, I have my east coast alarm clock to get me up.

When I woke, I did my little calisthenics routine and my shoulder exercises. I threw in a few back stretches while I was at it. The plan was then to go for a short run around the grounds. Instead, I bumped into Dad. He was driving to the beach with the dog and my step-aunt and asked if I wanted to go. I agreed and off we went. I didn't run much, but I chased the dog around a little and the exercise was decent.

The lunch was another large group affair, similar to what we did last night. After lunch, I "rested." By which I mean I watched tv. I heard Silas, my two nieces, and B1 and SIL1 heading out to play some basketball. I joined them but Silas quickly monopolized my attention. We played "catch" with a tennis ball. Then he asked me to throw the ball as high as I could way up in the air. I obliged several times.

Soon enough, it was time for another meal. Most of my first cousins and their families went off-site for dinner, leaving Susan's family and the family friends. Weird, I know, for them to come all this way and then excuse themselves from the group event. Gotta love family.

Best worst line of the night came from a man who is the half-brother of my stepmother's ex-husband (got that?): "You still living up north?" He meant Seattle. I said, "No, I live in DC now." The thing is, I haven't lived in Seattle for nearly 15 years. Damn.

Best line of the night came from Silas, "Will you put me to bed?" I was willing, but the parents indicated no. Still, he asked early and often. Adorable.

Tomorrow's the big party, I can hardly wait! And, for the record, not a single person has asked me if I'm seeing someone. Yes, that's good, but kind of annoying when, for once, I could answer "yes." I'm not complaining about that, though.

Not complaining, not complaining, not complaining....

Grateful for: my excellent attitude (at least I'm working on it).

Drop me a line.

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