I have been so busy lately (and still am) and who-or whatever’s responsible for the weather seems to suffer from manic-depression: within the past couple of weeks, we’ve first had a period of non-stop rain, then a subsequent flood (millennial aka a helllottawater) and the most recent gem: a heat wave. From the highs into the lows and back and whatnot.
So for these past weeks, I didn’t really have time to write, but I’ve been very tempted to write something about highs and lows in general – I mean, go figure, right? Yet, now that I do have some time on my hands: I’ve decided against it; I’m going to stick with the highs. I’ll give you high temperatures and enthusiasm – because after a miserable spring it’s summer (finally). And just because I want to.
This Monday was my dad’s birthday and because my family is a little weird (as I imagine all families are if you look closely) and my mom’s always been a very practical woman, they decided they were going to have a birthday B-B-Q the Sunday before – just because schedule-wise it worked out better than celebrating his actual birthday or throwing a party the weekend after (like most people would have done – just sayin’, guys).
So I packed my present (an exquisite selection of different beers to maintain my dad’s perfectly shaped beer belly – you’re welcome, Mom) and got myself on the bus, while my sister packed her three boys (one husband, two sons) and got into the car. My sister’s eight years older – which, I think, doesn’t make that much of a difference when you’re 24 and 32, yet: if my parents had decided to set up a grown-up and a separate kids table, they’d probably put me on the latter.
Of course, I wouldn’t have minded. At all.
My nephews are adorable. B., the older one’s in fifth grade: thankfully he hasn’t hit puberty yet (knock on wood); last Christmas he whispered a very indecent joke into my ear while the entire family sat gathered around the table for lunch and I almost knocked my food right off the table – a minute later I discovered that he’d just learned it from a girl at school (of course, I immediately told him that she was bad influence and he better stay away from her) and that he wasn’t entirely sure what he’d just told me (Thank God). His most impressive quality: he is able to eat seven really huge pancakes if he’s a very hungry caterpillar; to my dismay: English is his least favorite subject and he couldn’t care less about the fact that his aunt (almost) is an English teacher herself (luckily, he also doesn’t care when his aunt tries to sneak in books or other English-related goodies along with the actual birthday or Christmas present – he just frowns and puts it aside when he thinks no one’s looking).
D., the younger one, is a little straggler – he isn’t even a year old yet. He has my sister’s huge blue eyes (her very romantic husband lovingly refers to them as fish’s pop eyes) and also wouldn’t mind stuffing seven pancakes into his little mouth, if only my sister would let him. Because she doesn’t, however, he has to content himself with stuffing one of his socks into his sticky, smudgy baby face – or his foot, if the sock’s already soaked and my sister slipped it off his chubby foot. Whenever I get a chance, I pick him up to carry him around. I tell him incoherent stories with so many plot twists that in the end, there’s just twists and no plot at all and he doesn’t mind (he’s my most appreciative audience), he just looks around, kicking his feet and rowing his arms as if he was about to take off, a little bird. Eventually he gets tired – that’s my favorite part – and rests his fluff-covered head on my chest: and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the ultimate high. It’s even better than – oh my God, I can’t believe I’m saying this – chocolate. I swear.