Saturday, August 24, 2013

Six Degrees of Separation

The family that I nanny for recently welcomed their third son into the world, so the house has been abuzz with lots of friends and family recently. My six-year-old and three-year-old friends have been getting used to the new family dynamics and visitors. Most recently, my three-year-old friend discovered how we are all connected when both of his grandma's came over to visit at the same time as Ms. Renée (me of course).

"Grandma doesn't have any kids," the three-year-old announced of his paternal grandmother.

"Yes she does," corrected his mother. "How do you think you came to be?"

We all laughed as she explained that Grandma C has three children and that Daddy and his aunt and uncle were all her children, just like Mommy and all of her siblings were Grandma J's children. My adorable three-year-old friend stared at his plate of chicken nuggets in bewilderment, contemplating the relationships between the people that he treasured most in life. I have become a pretty regular fixture in his house, so I love seeing him learn and explore the world around him. He finally looked up at the group of family members surrounding him before he turned to me and asked: "So, Ms. 'Enay, who do you belong to?"

Oh, bless his little heart! It was all making sense until we threw in the complexities of the babysitter!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Makin' Me Proud

My nephews and niece are getting older. That's how this whole childhood thing works, right? Sometimes it pains me to learn that my nine-year-old nephew is now too old to hold my hand or give impromptu hugs. But then the kids will do something that makes me appreciate their growth and beam with admiration at the thought of being their aunt.

I recently visited a local theme park with my three nephews and niece. The oldest two boys each had some money that they had chosen to spend on stuffed animals. The younger two leaned over the table of plush toys, snuggling and hugging the fluffy stingrays as the older two decided which toys they would buy, when Kai, my nine-year-old nephew turned to his older brother and suggested, "Why don't I buy one for me and Ashleigh, and you buy one for you and Cody!"

What an idea: A selfless, adorable and fair way to spend his very own money. Although my oldest nephew didn't agree, Kai decided that he had enough money to buy a toy for himself and both his younger brother and sister. It's moments like this is that make me happy they are growing and leaving behind the "mine, mine, mine" mindset of early childhood.

And while my eldest nephew didn't spring for the toy for his little brother, he surprised me later on by donating his change to conservation, completely unsolicited. While I'm sure their parents, friends and teachers have a lot to do with these kids' wisdom, I like to think that they take after their dear aunt in  some way or another. Makes an auntie proud!