I love kids. Really I do. I'm even considering popping a few out one day. But for the moment, I prefer to spoil them, hop 'em up on sugar and caffeine...and then hand them back to their rightful owners.
There are two rugrats in my life that are my particular favorites: my sister's monsters, Jake and Ashley. Nothing in the world can possibly compare to seeing their smiling faces, playing with them and getting tons of hugs and sloppy kisses...well, except for the strong Manhattan and the cigarette I need after spending a few hours with them. Those are nice, too.
While I love them both equally, I must admit that little boys just crush me...Jake especially. I'm constantly in awe of him. I marvel at his intelligence, and I swear I can almost see the wheels turning in his eight year-old head as he's thinking of his next invention or plotting his next attack. He's far and away the coolest guy I know, so you can imagine how much he stole my heart when he decided he needed to defend my honor...at the age of four.
Jake is 100% boy. He loves masks,capes, swords, toy soldiers, and video games. If there's poop or farting involved, you can be certain he'll giggle at it. Hell, he even sits for hours on end on the toilet reading his comic books. If it's loud, obnoxious or messy, he's in to it, to be sure. Like I said...ALL BOY. With all of that in mind, the whole family even chipped in and got him one of those kid-sized, battery-powered Harley Davidson motorcycles.
That July, my sister and her husband threw their annual Independence Day bash. On average, about 50 guests show up, and that year, my sister asked me to take a child-wrangling shift while she was greeting all her guests. Don't feel bad for me, though. It meant I got to jump in the "Moonwalk" thing she'd rented. Rock on!
So, I'm there, jumping away with my niece and nephew and fifteen other sticky, filthy midgets when I heard, "Trix! Get out of there give me a hug!" Mmm. Dave, my brother-in-law's hottest friend, was beckoning to me. Who was I to refuse his request?
I jumped out & hugged him, and we started talking. Well, actually, he was talking. I was staring at his face. And quite possibly drooling. Unfortunately, the moment ended when my sister walked up to us.
"Trix, have you seen Jake?"
"Yeah. He's in the Moonwalk."
"No he's not. I was just over there. Have you lost my kid already?"
"Well, he can't have gotten far. I've only been out of there for a few minutes."
"Will you go look for him? Grandma L is here an wants to say hi to him."
All of a sudden, I heard a high-pitched whine. It couldn't be...It was! The Harley. And there he was, my darling nephew, coming around the corner of the house, riding his chariot, garbed in his finest super-hero attire. Around his neck, he wore his Batman cape. His swimming goggles covered his eyes. And on his hands, the almighty Power Ranger gloves. With one fail swoop, he jumped off his Hog, wielding his finest plastic sword, and whacked Dave right in the back of his knees.
"Jacob! What in the world do you think you're doing?!?"
He stood there for a moment, his fists clenched and his sword at his side, unyielding in his defiance toward his arch-nemesis of the day. And then my hero spoke.
"Auntie Trix," he said in a voice well beyond his four years. "What do you THINK I'm doing? I'm SAVING you from this guy. I'm saving the WHOLE PLANET! DUH!!!"
No matter how old he gets, I'll always think of him exactly as he was that day. My sweet nephew, protecting me from his evil foe...and the absolute light of my life.
But don't worry...I took plenty of photographs of him. The threat of embarassment can be a very powerful tool. Why pay to have my car washed when I can bribe him in to doing it for free?