Sunday, May 24, 2009

Auntie Frequency

“We need a plan,” I decided, squinting in the sunshine as I sat next to my mom in lawn chairs. I wrinkled my nose as the cars rumbled by, looking for parking spaces so all could wander by and admire their shiny paint jobs and smelly engines. I was, for once, not talking about pressuring Dad to leave a cruise-in early.

Instead, I referred to seeing the elder of my nieces a bit more often. When we stopped at Brother’s house to drop off a letter on our way to the evening’s automotive event, she clung to me, tiny arms wrapped tightly about my neck. I lifted her easily, settling her on my hip and murmuring into her hair. Yet the promises to see her soon remained unsaid until she clung tighter.

“Don’t cry, Little One,” I told her. “You’ll go in and watch movies and hang out with the cat.” I nodded at her encouragingly, knowing she favors those of the feline species and she blinked at me sadly, breaking my heart.

“She needs to see you more,” Mom agreed, looking unconcerned by the noise and odor there in a parking lot. I sighed, knowing I was spoiled and prissy but hating the experience all the same.

“Once a month seems fair.” I considered it further and nodded in confirmation of my own statement. “But it’s hard to find time to drive home and take a full weekend away from work. Plus, the yard is left unkept and the house is a wreck. I’m concerned about keeping up that schedule.”

“We could bring them up,” Mom decided. “Smallest One would nap if we left in the morning on Friday. Then we could be there with you all weekend – work in the yard and house, take walks and play on the playground – and leave on Monday when you go to work.”

“We’ll trade off,” I declared. “Every other month, I’ll drive down. And on off months, you’ll bring them up. Then Smallest One will know Aunt Katie and Little One can get her fix.” Feeling rather pleased, I smiled and reached for Mom’s hand. “The idea of Aunt Katie is better than the experience of me.”

But whether Little One is showing me how to play her DS games or Smallest One is putting on a heartfelt – if garbled – performance of what I’m pretty sure was a song, I miss them.

Conversely, it's always so good to be back in my own house. I simply need to balance the need for Katie-time with that of the family variety.


Psych Post Doc said...

That sounds like a great plan. You're such an important part of their lives given what little you've said about their mom, they really need you.

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Sounds like you are really finding balance. Way to go!

Amelie said...

Good luck in making your plan work! It sounds like it would be good for all of you.

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