Thursday, December 15, 2005

No Longer Cool

My wife Jilda kept our niece Samantha from the time she was a few months old until she started to first grade. She is now 15 going on 30. They lived next door to us and her mom and dad both worked so rather than take her to daycare, Jilda volunteered to keep her. She was fun to keep and neither of us minded the investment we made in her. She was exposed to all kinds of music, classical, the blues, rock, and folk. We read her books and poetry. Jilda and Sam were always doing projects...building things, painting, glueing, and hammering. When she was about 3 years old she enjoyed playing school. She would always be the teacher and she loved saying OK, we're going to have a pop test. Jilda would always do a great mock protest "aw we didn't know were were going to have a test today," and whine a great deal. This was to her delight. She would then proceed to ask Jilda a question and Jilda would answer. No matter what Jilda would say, Sam would always say "that's correct". And no matter what I said, it would always be "incorrect, you must stay after class to study." I would whine and groan and she would giggle. These were the days when we were cool.
When she started to school, it was almost like the empty nest syndrome I've heard people speak of. We still saw her a great deal but not like before she started to school.
She still went to plays and concerts with us. Jilda and I are in an acoustic band and every time we played a show or festival, she would usually go.
But as she grew older, her life got much more complicated and the times we saw her became infreaquent. She got new friends and both Jilda and I realized we were no longer cool....which was a hard pill to swallow.
We should have seen it coming, because we also kept her older brothers when they were young and the pattern was similar with them but when they got a little older, we came back in favor. I have to believe that Samantha will think we are cool again. I'd love for her to give me a pop quiz.

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