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The family visits - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
The family visits
Last week at this very moment, I was in the Smithsonian, right by the glass encased chair with Archie Bunker’s ass print on it, and watching Cody belly flop on the floor and scream louder than a passing ambulance. I looked to Becky for some sort of action to quell this public display of insanity but she gave me a wry look and said, “He’ll wear himself out in about twenty minutes.” Time spent on the Stairmaster went faster than those twenty, and I looked at all of the passersby as they sneered or snickered or both at Cody’s tantrum.

It wasn’t the first time I saw one of the twins behave as if they’d just been hit upside the head with a hot iron. They take turns, those two. Usually Nicky begins with his crumpled little Macaulay Culkin face into a full on writhe-and-whine, and once he’s completed his task of making everyone in the immediate orbit wince, Cody takes over the duties. It happened the night before, at Buca Di Beppo, when we were first seated at our table and they took turns throwing the flatware at nearby diners. Then it was play-under-the-table time, rendering any semblance of conversation or just a normal chow-down as unlikely as OJ fitting that damned glove on his hand in front of the jury. After being forced to sit in their chairs, it was full-on belly flop time and the screams played happy havoc with the strains of That’s Amore on the restaurant soundtrack.

I’m not great around kids. I run out of things to say. Brandon, the 2 ½ year old twins’ older brother, was terrific, however, and he’s learned to be quiet in the middle of the chaos, a lesson I hope will serve him well as an adult. At ten years old, he is whip smart, a tad shy, and he’s emotionally developed enough to understand the underlying dynamics at play in my relationship with Billy. He loved Billy, too.

They all refer to me as “uncle,” a true gift as being an only child, my uncledom was thwarted from the gate. We went to all of the museums, Chris and Becky and the kids and me, and we went on the monument walk. An enterprising podiatrist should set up shop at the end of the damned thing but it was as fun as all get out.

On Saturday, Joe joined the family when we went to the National Zoo, folding seamlessly into the family patter, and taking the children’s decibel level with a knowing shrug. I found the zoo to be depressing in its execution and in its necessity. The old school bars that caged the elephants, one of God’s most gracious creatures, nearly made me cry although that threshold was inches away for most of the family’s visit.

Being with Chris, knowing how much he loved and respected his Uncle Billy, and being with that familial speech pattern was all I needed. I probably won’t see them again until Thanksgiving but in the meantime, Billy’s other nephew, Matt, is about to have a baby boy. And guess what they’re naming him?
2 comments or Leave a comment
quuf From: quuf Date: April 15th, 2004 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Billy's a wonderful name. And I ought to know!

Congratulations to you.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: April 15th, 2004 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
hey bub, did my question sound like an asskicking?... ;-) If so, you know it was the good kind right?

great entry good to catch up with you somewhat. Kids are kids and will do and stretch to any boundry that is either set or not.

I too loathe zoos, makes me sick and I hate going. Maybe I identify wiht the animals too much, maybe I think it is disgusting for a civilization to capture and cage for mere curiosity.

be well
2 comments or Leave a comment