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Friday, October 22, 2010

Reunion Recap (Mostly, It's a Post about Kiddoes)

I barely remember the actual reunion.

(No, not because I was drunk the whole time...although that might be PART of it. How else do we get through family reunions?)

I remember surviving the four TEENY TINY planes that took me from Boston to Ithaca and back.

I remember eating good food: chicken marsala, baked ziti, and chocolate bread pudding at the big dinner Friday night, squash fritters, frittata, and wraps at brunch on Sunday morning, freshly made waffles at the hotel breakfast room.

I remember crying in front of lots of people, as I read what I wrote for my grandmother, who seemed to recognize me only when my mom prompted her.

I remember bursting into tears at a sudden outpouring of unflinching support in my job search and unemployment.

I remember having strange dreams on the pullout couch in my cousins' suite.

Mostly, though, what I did was play with kids all weekend and through this week.

I taught my cousins' four-year-old son how to play I Spy, and we played it every chance we got.

We swam in the pool with his mommies, my aunt, and his uncle and cousin.

I pretended to be at a carnival with a 2 1/2 year old. We rode the rollercoaster.

I looked for pretend and real worms with my cousin's two-year-old daughter. And we traced our hands with pens.

We jumped in a huge pile of leaves at my uncle's house.

And then, this week, the four-year-old and his mommies visited Boston, and we played Hide and Seek and Sneaky Statues and Hopscotch, walked through the cemetery, led by our furry guide dog, Huck.

We practiced counting and rhyming and opposites and spelling.

He woke up, asking for me to take him to my house.

We slid down a big slide at the zoo together and rode the trains and drove the tractors.

I squeezed him and distracted him while he tried to watch TV and when he whined and squirmed, I said, "Just tell me not to." So, he said, "Not to."

We played walking tag in my apartment and I went behind the fridge to guard myself from him. He hid behind it, sure that I couldn't see him and said, "When I'm 10, I'll be tall, so you'll be able to see me! How many are you?" When I answered, he said, "YOU'RE OLD!"

(Too true.)

And when he was a pain in the ass, I would shrug my shoulders and think to myself, "You go cry it out and I'll be here with a funny face when you're ready to be with me again."

And, even though I know he won't want to play with me like this forever, I hope he knows that I'll always be here when he's ready to be with me.

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