Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jackie - 21 is Bigger Than 17

I actually accomplished something in the last week! Which in and of itself feels like an accomplishment! I have 2 weeks until my Sophomore Proficiency and next week my a capella ensemble is having its performance. Needless to say, I've been a little distracted. I guess should have included some school things in my goals... then I could be crossing off more things. *sigh*

I decided to reconnect with one of my cousins. Actually, he's my cousin's kid. My dad was a woops-baby and... never mind... it's too complicated to explain. So, I took my 14-year-old cousin, Kolten, out on the town for the night last Saturday. We have birthdays 4 days apart and I promised to take him out for his birthday. Which makes me sound like the coolest cousin ever... except that our birthdays are in January. At least I kept my word... ?

I started babysitting Kolten when he was about 6 months old and kept doing so in the summers until I finally moved in with them the fall he started Kindergarten. That was a fun year. Everyday at noon I would take his little brother and walk down to the elementary school to pick him up. And on the way home he would tell me all the adventures of the day--what games they played at recess and how to deal with bullies. Everything was so new and exciting to him--it was great! It was about that time that he announced that he was older than me. In his mind, it made a lot of sense. See, his birthday is on the 21st and mine is only on the 17th and since 21 is bigger, he was obviously older. I just let him go with it.

Last Saturday, I picked him up and took him to my favorite restaurant, Pasquini's. Sadly, it wasn't as good as it usually is, but we forged on. We went for a little walk on the boat bridge and explored Union Station, and ended the night with some checkers and chess at Paris on the Platte. All the while chatting about life. It felt a little strange to talk to him as an adult and for him to ask me about my dating life, but I tried to be honest in hopes that he won't make the same mistakes I have. And when he brought up his favorite of my ex-boyfriends and told me how much he liked him, I decided he's finally old enough to hear about what a jerk that guy was to me.

We talked about all kinds of things... school, college prospects, girls, sports. It's been so long since we hung out for an entire night, I let him direct the conversation since I'm not even sure what he likes these days. I learned all about what it's like to be an 8th grader... and it makes me never want to have kids.

I tried to keep him out late because he's grounded right now for getting a bad grade. I think I was successful because he yawned the whole way home.

We were always really close when he was little, but in the years since I moved out, we haven't spent that much time together and I'm ready to change that. I hope I can continue to re-grow this relationship. He's a special kid. And he's special to me, so I don't want what we once had turn into just a memory.

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