Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Thirteen Year-Old in My Life

My friend Cathy has a nephew for whom she has become the legal guardian. His name is Chris, he's been in her care for about a year and a half now.
Chris and I have spent a lot of time together, we fly kites, play mini-golf, go to the driving range, shoot pool, fish, ride scooters, hike, go to the movies, have movie night at my house, play video games, drive around singing songs in the car, you get the idea. He goes away to school now, and I don't get to see him as much as I'd like. When I do, he's taller and older and it's always amazing to me how quickly he's changing and growing
The other day, I got a call from Cathy explaining she had something planned all day and into the evening, that she couldn't take him to. She told me that when she asked Chris who he'd like her to call, he requested me. She said, "He thinks you're just the coolest." I said, "Of all your friends, I am!"
I picked Chris up at 5 and we kicked around what we'd like to do for fun. He wanted to watch a movie. He'd grown, and I think his voice is starting to change. We went to the grocery store and picked up stuff to make root beer floats, and frozen pizza. While talking to Chris I noticed his speech has become so lazy and sloppy I could hardly understand him. Okay became OA, if you say it real fast. He talks in the typical droning way, with little or no inflection. He was telling me a baseball story, and when he stopped talking, I realized he'd reached the end of the story and it was my turn. Panicked I said, "And when was this?" We picked it up from there.
We hung out, made dinner, I showed him the bird nest and the babies. When the sun was setting we watched the bats circle in the back yard. He jumped up and easily touched a beam in my kitchen he used to have to take a running start to try to touch. We made our root beer floats and watched his requested movie, Semi-Pro with Will Farrell which was funny in that Will Farrell way, but the content was a tad mature for a thirteen year old at points. Chris did his level best to not make me feel uncomfortable about that. He's a good boy. When we said goodbye he wanted his hug as always, and I picked him up off the ground when I hugged him, as always. "I can still pick you up. " I declared, and smiled, wondering how much longer that will be possible.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds just wonderful Red Mojo! Chris is the same age as my youngest and I have to ask him to repeat things ALL THE TIME! Enjoy right now because you're right about wondering how much longer the same 'comfort' will last. It changes with age but under thirteens are sweet in comparison - better than 'sweet' sixteen ;) Hhehehe coolest Red Mojo!

Baino said...

If he thinks you're cool at 13 he'll maintain it. Show me the seven year old and I'll show you the man (can't remember who said that). Although it might be up to you to keep in contact as he gets older - better get a Facebook account! Come 17 he'll be picking you up! Guaranteed! (Anony's right, 16 is the 'grunt' phase!)

RED MOJO said...

anon, Thanks for sharing that. I know it won't be long before he doesn't have time for me anymore. *sigh*

baino, I know I'll lose him for a time, I do have a facebook account. I showed it to him when he was here. Hopefully he'll start one, and we can at least stay in touch that way through the years.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Chris sounds like a great kid!

And I would choose you, too, to spend a fun day with. Try not to hurt your back picking up young men, though.

Slip said...

Don't count on not seeing him as he gets older. We have kids that hung at our house when the boys were young that now drag their little tow heads with them to get a jar of Janice's famous homemade pickles. Mojo you have already set the hook, he will be back!
Check out my new post and see how a 58 year old balding red neck stays in shape.

RED MOJO said...

heartinsanfrancisco, I love the kid, but I could think of better ways to hurt my back.

slip, I do hope you are right, but I won't be pickling anything for him.

TheWeyrd1 said...

My old roommate's son was 9 when I lived in their basement as a poor grad student (cheap rent) and 11 or 12 when I moved out. Sometimes after that I stayed overnight to babysit (poor first couple of years as a poor school psych) and then only checked in on them when their mom was out of town when he and his sis were old enough to watch themselves...anyway late in HS he started hugging me every time I came over. I thought it was just him (he's come out as gay), but later when visiting my ex a few times to return borrowed video's her 12 and then 13 year old son would hug me when I showed up (I dated his mom from when he was 8 to 10 and he was not happy about that at the time). I guess boys like some continuity in their lives even when it's just other women...

VE said...

I remember dragging my nephews around to all kinds of things. Now my kids are that age. Time is flying...

Debra Kay said...

Actually, Aunties sometimes become sounding boards....that's why we are in such high demand from parents.

citizen of the world said...

It's so great to have someone in that role for your kids (we have a friend who does the same sorts of things with ours and is their guardian should we both die). You get to just enjoy each other's company without all the parent junk getting in the way. Nice for both of you.

RED MOJO said...

theweyrd1, Yes, I think that's true.

ve, It sure does! Kids a definite reminder of that.

debra kay, I think you're right, and I hope he trusts me enough to use me in that capacity, if he needs me.

cit, I agree. It is nice for both of us, and I think he knows I'll always be there for him.

tsduff said...

Don't know why blogger has been eating almost every comment I make anywhere these days... sorry I posted a comment days ago but it isn't here.

I loved reading about your special relationship with Chris. They don't come along every day. Of course you are the cool one he requested... you do stuff that is fun with him. Do you take West Coast charges? *wink* The need to pick him up may fade, but the need for the hugs never will :)

Dr.John said...

He is lucky to have a good friend. In the next four years he may need you more than ever.

RED MOJO said...

tsduff, yeah, I do take west coaters!

dr.john, thank you for your visit, and welcome. If he needs me, I will be there, happily.

Dorky Dad said...

Yup, before you know it, he'll be picking you up. And you'll demand that he quit doing that, even though we all secretly want to be carried like a little one again. Or at least I do.

Mini said...

Tsup!

King Jack said...

I am a musketeer bobbing up and down at a 70s party with Red Mojo!

VE said...

Ok, time for a new post!!!

And just to let you know...you are starring in my movie. It'll be posted Thu (8/7). I feel really, really bad for you...

colbymarshall said...

Yeah, I agree- if he thinks you're cool at 13, then you're gold. That's around the age when I decided exactly how lame adults really were...visiting you from over at VE's blog, btw :-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Red Rover, Red Rover, when're you coming back?