My 3 day weekend did not go quite the way I was expecting. Not that I had anything really planned, Doyle has an assignment, which will be intensive, so I won’t be seeing him very much, I thought I was just going to do a few things and generally putter around.
But Friday morning at work(Just at the start of the 3 day Veteran's Day weekend), I got two phone calls that changed a few things. I was planning on going to “load up” on Duraflame logs and tea lights (easy to do anytime) but first I got a phone call from my sister and she’ll be flying in Monday evening, a bit sooner than expected but still I’m very happy about it.
Resourceful Sis, managed to get a flight out to Texas and from there to Las Vegas, where she stayed for the weekend enjoying the hedonistic sights of “Sin City”, sort of a mini-vacation. Then she hopped a flight out Monday evening to my local airport, so I had the fun of picking her up at about 8 p.m. and getting her settled into my home, I really didn’t mind and the timing was good since I had Monday off as a holiday (Veteran’s Day).
But things got a little complicated for me, because the 2nd phone call was from my Brother he of the 3 jock boys, sports enthusiast wife and very quiet daughter. I’m sure you can see where this is going, but if not I’ll fill you in.
I’m an Auntie, and one calls upon Auntie’s when the “married with children” have their backs to the wall or have what they perceive is a “changeling child” Auntie’s are the hidden super hero’s, they come through in times of crisis---well at least the one’s I know do.
My brother and his wife are nice people, but they love their sports, their boys love sports, their daughter (who they were hoping to be a boy) hates sports and considers those who play sports and get a lot of money as idiots---except for Joe Montana. Why he is the exception I have no idea.
She is 10 years old and thinks of sports as the “bread and circus” of the 21st century Modern Rome, I am inclined to also think that way, but I have to admit I do love Professional Bull Riding (I always cheer for the Bulls), and Alright for those who think that is a sin---then I’ve sinned but I’m not going to apologize. I’ve seen professional Portuguese Bull Fighting without blood letting and I am amazed by it. Trust me Darklings, the Portuguese Bull Fighting done here in the U.S. is done without blooding and is darkly Gothic, darkly beautiful and ritualistic. It is also a part of my ancestral heritage.
My niece loves music mostly classical, ballet, and saw the recorded version of “Phantom of the Opera” which she considers her favorite musical and Opera (well she is Only 10), and has seen the “Twilight Movies” much to her parents objections (they thought she was seeing a Disney movie with a friend).
So she is a changeling child.
Anyway there were several big sports events coming up this last weekend that they wanted to attend but their daughter set up such a “howl” that there was no peace in their home, until my brother remembered me.
So I had Carol, whom I’ve started calling “Coralline” for the weekend, which worked out in several ways, she needed to do both a reading and writing assignment for the weekend, the reading assignment was easy, her folks dropped her off on my work doorstep 2 hours before I got off work on Friday, with her bags in tow. ***sigh*** (I do love my brother but with his wife, it has to be on her schedule)
I apologized to Coralline because I still had to work and was concerned she’d be bored but she said she has a reading assignment and needed to do a report on it, and had to check over her math homework which she had initially finished in her free time period at school. So setting her up in my area to do what she needed to do, she was content.
She is a remarkably self possessed child, gets mostly A’s with a few B’s in school she’s in an accelerated course and is reading at the 8th to 9th grade level with full comprehension. Her math is at 7th to 8th grade level and constantly improving, her science is at 8th grade level, she is like 10 going on 80, wise and sad at the same time and mildly frustrated at her immature brothers, and her sports addicted parents.
I can understand in a way, I mean my Dad liked sports he could watch a football game, was mildly interested in baseball, and basketball, but it was not the defining thing in his existence, mostly it was a way for “the men folk” to gather around watching the game on the old black and white T.V. and discuss the mis-fortunes of the world.
My brother played football in high school and college and got hooked, seriously hooked. Sometimes I and my Sister have wondered if he didn’t get switched at birth, however Mother assured us that did not happen.
I and later when my Sister came on the scene, well we had a few playmates our age but we never really felt comfortable with them, they seemed so “childish”, I guess being around grownups a lot can affect a child, but for my Sister and I it was a good thing. Later in our teens we developed a few friends our age, but again not many.
By the time my brother came around, there were lots of kids his age, and he never seemed to think beyond when he could go out and play kick-ball or something with his pals. Amazing what a difference 8 years can make.
My niece Carol aka “Coralline” seemed to be in the same situation as I and my sister, close by there were no girls her age, but plenty of boys her brothers ages and it wasn’t easy making friends in a highly competitive accelerated education classes.
So I had Coralline for the weekend and she has been tagging after me all this time, I wasn’t sure how she’d take to an Auntie who is an Elder/Elderly Goth, I informed her that the basic rule is “My House, My Rules, Homework comes first, and I need to know from your parents what you can and cannot do.” She was very willing to go along with that especially the minute she saw my house from the outside, the first words she said was “Wow!” And took to the house both inside and outside like a duck to water, even Belladonna was happy for the extra attention.
She stood in awe in front of the portrait of my Great, her Great-Great Aunt and said to me “I don’t think I’ll ever be as beautiful as her” so over dinner I told her the story of the ugly duckling who became a swan, and showed her pictures of me and my sister as children, just like her, unformed, shapeless, in pigtails, no hint of any kind of beauty.
And then as a sort of game I showed her how her beauty will develop, pinning a dress to fit her that was a perfect color for her completion and doing some light make up, and dressing her hair I showed her that in time she would become a very beautiful young lady. I told her to always remember that as she grows up, but that it’s perfectly alright to be a 10 year old girl and to have fun as a 10 year old girl.
She almost hated taking off the makeup but I informed her that part of her beauty routine was to always be clean which meant washing her face and brushing her teeth morning and evening, and other beauty things that a 10 year old can do.
She enjoyed her weekend with me and then meeting her other Auntie as well, her writing assignment was “How I spent my 3 day weekend”. It was to be done in a diary format; she said her class mates were going to be jealous. I asked her why and she said “None of them have a house that is from that movie “The Addams Family”, except with less cobwebs.
While we were waiting for my Sister’s flight to arrive at the airport, my niece asked me a lot of questions about my childhood, and I discovered through her questioning that she is going through the same type of difficulties as I went through. Granted the stresses of today are different from when I was growing up, but the issues are pretty much the same.
I gave her the “Cliff Notes” version and told her to file away what I’ve said in her mind and write down any further questions to ask me, because there was more than what I gave her in the condensed version.
She asked me if she could wear all black and I suggested to her that at her age it would be best to go with dark blue, purple, deep greens and the occasional red. She hated the cutesy baby girlie things her mother bought her, and I said she was still too young to try and look sophisticated and to enjoy being a young girl. I told her a splash of pink was fine, and when combined with black can look very nice. She asked me to ask her mother if I could take her clothes shopping in the next few weeks (right after Black Friday which I dread), but I couldn’t refuse. But I told her that I would need to get an idea of what was already in her wardrobe and we could go from there. So like two conspirators we made our plans.
I know her Mother, my sister-in-law, she comes from a family of sports enthusiasts, when I’ve tried to talk to her about music, literature etc., she always manages to bring the conversation back to sports. When she talks about her children she always has a lot to say about the boys and their achievements, when it comes to her daughter she says that she’s happy she gets good grades in school and is never a problem but hates sports and my sister-in-law has admitted to me in a recent conversation that she doesn’t understand her daughter and has no idea how to really deal with her.
I suggested to not force sports on her as her interests were in another, more artistic direction. And “Corallines’” Mother keeps asking where did that come from, well Duh! Look at her Aunties….***sigh*** I did tell you that I ‘like’ my sister-in-law.
Then again she gets so wrapped up in the boys’ lives that it seems she doesn’t have time to spare for her daughter. I think this is something I’ll need to talk to her about in depth. Even for an Elder/Elderly Gothic Auntie there are boundaries and I need to see what they are.
When my Sister and I dropped our niece off at her parent’s house we made arrangements with her parents for her to spend the Thanksgiving break with us, even though we’d be at my brother’s for Thanksgiving Dinner, which promises to be very interesting. I told her we would see about the Christmas break.
She asked her parents if they could watch the first “Addams Family” movie for their movie night and they said “Sure, why not” since her brothers had been choosing the movies for the last 2 months, all sports oriented or the “Jackass” movies.
My brother and sister-in-law do not suspect what is slowly developing for their youngest. If nothing else my niece finally felt she wasn’t an outsider in this family, that they were the outsiders and we (my niece, sister and I) were “perfectly normal”, “Crematorium” Kitchen and all.
I do know this ‘Coralline’ is thinking like my sister and I did when we would make plans to do our brother in, only she has to contend with 3 brothers who are older. The good thing is I told her that it would be wise to stop the planning, that when her brothers are grown up they could become useful in many ways. She had not thought about that, which made me smile.
And now she has met her other Auntie whom she has heard about but never met until now. My sister and I think this is going to be “a good thing.”