But not all at once.
Our week with Jacob ended with a rainy Fourth of July Hurry-Up-and-Light-the-Sparklers extravaganza. The weather was dreadfully wet, but we managed to squeak out a quickie-canoe trip on the river on Wednesday and one more swim on Thursday before storms forced us inside for the rest of the day.
Then we swam to Dayton, Ohio, to swap Jacob for Jeremy, and swam back to our house Saturday evening. I’m so over the rain and I miss Jacob. Whether he realizes it or not, the true gift of this week was having my 12-year-old nephew all to myself.
He’s a great kiddo.
At the end of the week I asked Jacob to rank his favorite things from his time in Tennessee. No. 1 was time spent in the river, which I expected. No. 2, however, was a pleasant surprise. He said he really enjoyed the pets. That makes sense, though, since he and Salem were best buds every night during movie time. (Major was mostly tolerable, which is pretty good considering…) In third place, for those wondering, was all the food he enjoyed eating with his non-vegetarian aunt Jennie. We ate well and often. Nature and food = Tennessee.
We were about to start our eleventh game of Uno when Jacob got up from the table to follow Salem into the backyard. (He’s so curious to know where the cat goes when he’s outside. I tell him that Salem can go anywhere he wants, which is how it is when you’re the boss, but he’s always good to come home afterward.) It was approaching 11 p.m. so the sky was pitch dark. I was shuffling cards when I heard Jacob call for me.
“Aunt Jennie! Come out here! You gotta see this!”
Thinking it had something to do with the cat, I hurried.
“Look!” he said, pointing to the sky. “Stars!”
“Do you not have stars at your house?” I asked.
“Not like this,” he said.
Apart from the few clouds, the sky was particularly bright. We stargazed for a bit with the blind eye until I remembered the StarWalk app on my iPad. That was a game-changer.
This brought stargazing to a new level since we could easily identify everything we saw. Jacob kept saying, “THIS IS SO AWESOME,” which meant we were going to put off that game of Uno for as long as he wanted.
I’m lovin’ it.
This is the beginning of a kid swap with my sister. She took Jeremy for a week while I have Jacob. (Owen and Jackson will get a turn next time.)
On our first full day of having my 12-year-old nephew here with us, we took advantage of good weather and drove to the mountains. I wanted Jacob to put his feet in the river. While Jeremy is enjoying city life in Chicago, I’m giving Jacob a peek inside country living.
Me: “We’re going to the river!”
Jacob: “Okay. Is it dirty?”
For the record, he loved it.
It really was a merry Christmas. I have more than 500 photos to prove it. Here is the best one:
It was also a very loud Christmas – because of them:
Many blessings to you and yours for the new year. See you in 2012.
The growing trend between my boys and my sister’s is the pairing off of Jacob (10) with Jackson (5) and Jeremy (7) with Owen (7). We seem to only see each other every six months or so, but it takes literally 30 seconds for each boy to find his buddy.
The middle two are especially close. They’re only six months apart and have so many common interests that playing together comes quite naturally. Even after the two said goodbye late Sunday night, Owen returned five minutes later in tears because one goodbye wasn’t enough. Of course, it makes you wonder what this relationship will look like in another five, ten or twenty years. Here’s hoping it looks pretty much the same.