“Aunt Lisa, can you bring over the books so I can choose which ones I want to keep?”
Princess & I had a conversation on the way to the aquarium a few weeks ago about the books she’s been reading lately. I told her that she could have any of the books that are in her “library” when she returned to Texas for Princesspalooza 2010. She arrived at Mum & Da’s last Sunday and during the trip with her grandparents from Louisiana, I’m told, talked about nothing BUT the books Aunt Lisa was going to let her have. I believe it. The above message was left on my voice mail last Sunday. I wonder how long she was at her grandparent’s house before she called?
I created the library for her before Princesspalooza 2008 (her first solo summer trip) and she’s progressed through the books during each succeeding trip. I’ve added to and taken away from the library prior to each visit based on what I thought her reading levels were/are. Because she began reading at an early age and was reading independently by age 5, it’s been a bit of a guessing game as to what was appropriate. Dr. Seuss was gold, Ramona not so much that first year. This past Christmas, I noticed she was tearing into the Junie B. Jones series. Now at age 7, Princess is either playing with her DS or reading. That is when she’s not playing basketball or soccer. No kidding! Does an educator’s heart proud, I tell ya. 🙂
“Aunt Lisa, do you have any double A batteries?”
I was met with this question by the oldest of the Pilot’s sons during a family dinner a couple of weeks ago. His camera had died. I didn’t have any batteries. Wish I had, but what’s a person to do?
I shared with the Pilot & his wife that I am very impressed with their sons. All three of them are growing into incredible young men. And I mean this. I’ve always enjoyed working with teenagers. I know the “experts” say that a child’s emotional imprint is complete by the time they’re 5 or 6. While this may be so, it’s not until these kids hit the last couple of years of high school that they begin to define themselves into the people they’ll be throughout their adult lives.
- The oldest is a junior in high school and is growing into a mature and caring leader. He said he wants to be “just like” the Major. I’m taking that to mean he wants to be a military officer, although his dad is also an officer in the military, just a different branch.
- The middle son is quiet, very observant … and has a wicked sense of humor. He reminds me of the Spook in a lot of ways: they’re both middle brothers (the obvious) but also in the comments I overheard. Da shared the acerbic reparte between the two of them upon their arrival to the condo and I immediately flashed back to things the Spook had said to our grandfather on our visits with my grandparents when we were younger.
- The youngest son is a pre-teen; still goofy at 10 years old, but very creative. Knowing that he probably doesn’t get a whole lot of respect because he is the youngest, the first thing I asked him was if he wanted to take some pictures with my camera. Granted, I watched carefully from a distance, but I let the boy explore the camera and am absolutely amazed at the photos he captured! The Pilot & his wife are still “loving” me for giving him free reign with my camera, but they saw something from their youngest that they hadn’t seen before: he knew he was being trusted with something very special … and he took complete ownership of that responsibility.
I was sharing with Mum recently that I was truly surprised with the number of photos the Pilot included in the Celebration movie he created to honor Mum & Da’s 50th wedding anniversary. Based on the very rare number of pictures sent to them while the boys were growing up, I assumed the Pilot & his wife were like Hub & me and rarely took pictures.
If I have any regrets, it’s that my family lives so far apart. I don’t get to see my niece and nephews often and so when we do visit, it’s just “snapshots” of time we spend together. The Spook is trying hard to get a posting back to Texas and the Pilot has long said that he’d like to move back home if he could find a flying billet in the area. The only holdout is the Major. He shared with Hub years ago that he wouldn’t ever move back to Texas.
Perhaps one day we’ll all live a little closer. But until then, I’ll be content with the opportunities I do have to visit with the next generation of our family.