My New Life
The best part of coming back to Cleveland are the joyous reunions, especially with the two special guys in my life who don't talk on the phone. While it's great to see my parents and my brothers, I talk to them fairly frequently. Kodiak and The Kid are who I really enjoy seeing again.
The first time I came back after moving to Ireland, I was worried that Kodiak wouldn't remember me. Or worse, would snub me like my cat did when I moved away to college. My fears were unfounded. One look at the Propeller Tail Happy Dance assured me that my first dog in life rememebered me and was as thrilled to see me as I was to see him.
Hanging out with The Kid gets better every year, since he's growing up into a fairly well-behaved and extremely interesting little person. He's 5 and started Kindegarten this year, so his world is expanding. He told me he's a scientist and it's so much fun to watch him approach new things and try to figure them out.
I spent all day on Sunday with Middle Brother and The Kid. We went to the Children's Museum and had great fun doing magic tricks, playing in the water system, and shopping/working in the grocery store. Then we went out to lunch, where The Kid was probably better behaved than I was during our long wait for the food to arrive. After that, it was off to the Art Museum. We had a leisurely stroll through a special European Masters exhibition and The Kid was the keeper of the audio tour.
It was on the way home that The Kid started to talk to me about my life and what he thinks I should do with it. He's beginning to really grasp how far away I am. My clever brother has put it into terms The Kid can understand - he's been on an airplane trip to South Carolina. I am 7 South Carolina trips away. The Kid understands that this means he only gets to see me once a year and I can't spontaneously come over to dinner or go to Chuck E. Cheese on a whim. Doesn't mean he has to like it.
The Kid: Auntie Ann, I think you should stay here.
Me: Oh yeah, Kiddie Kid. And how would I do that?
The Kid: You could rent a house here, near me.
Me: I suppose that's possible, but what about Uncle Peter?
The Kid (waves his hand dismissively): He can stay there.
Me (surprised, since I thought Uncle Peter would at least get a ticket to join me): All right, so say Peter does stay there...what about my job? I really like my job.
The Kid: You can cancel it.
Me: But if I cancel it, how can I afford to rent a house by you?
The Kid: My Papa [his grandfather on his mother's side] will give you money.
Me: Oh, I don't know if I want to take your Papa's money. That's not really fair to him. Do you think I could get a job?
The Kid: Yeah! You could work at Starbucks with my mama.
Me: I suppose I could do that. But I don't know. Would I have any benefits? What would be good about working at Starbucks?
The Kid: You would get to try all the drinks AND all the cookies.
Me: That sounds like a pretty good deal. What about a bonus?
MB: Yeah, you have to sweeten the deal here. Really sell it. What would be even better than trying all the drinks and cookies?
The Kid (pauses for a minute to think, then throws up his arms in a Eureka moment): My mama could train you!
Me: So let me get this straight - you want me to cancel my job, leave Uncle Peter behind, rent a house by you, and get a job at Starbucks?
The Kid: Yes. You also should have a kid.
Me: Oh, really? And where would I get a kid?
The Kid: They come out of girls's tummies. You're a girl, so you should be able to get one pretty easy.
We pulled into my parents' driveway at this point and The Kid scrambled out of the car, leaving me to think about my possible new life. I hate to disappoint the little guy, but I really like my old new life in the Middle of Nowhere.