Last weekend I visited my brother, his wife, my pre-existing nephew and my brand-new nephew. It proved to be a rather timely and useful respite from some stuff, and a good opportunity to recharge.
Not that it was restful. Pre-existing nephew is two and a half, and very active and curious in delightful but exhausting ways. But it was honestly tiring, rather than artificially draining, which is easier to recover from. Or, maybe the novelty of it was enough to make the difference as good as a rest. That’s a question for the philosophers.
One great benefit that I didn’t expect but should have is the reminder of what I’m working for: I’d like the nephews to grow up knowing me in good shape. I want to be a creepy uncle, rather than a fat uncle. I mean, I don’t want to be creepy, but I’ve got that locked up so I’m tired of fighting it. (If you doubt me, see the photo at right.)
The other big benefit was that I got to take a few days away from some looming career molasses. I say that not because the situation is particularly sticky—in fact, I’m not exactly sure what the situation will wind up being. But molasses is a good descriptor regardless. It’s definitely slow-moving, and it will either be sweet and delicious and be capable of spontaneously producing rum, or it will produce a dense flood that destroys buildings and kills 21 and is the basis of an underutilized rejoinder whenever Red Sox fans talk about… Well, whenever Red Sox fans talk. I’m unsure which it is; I’d guess it’s 60-40 on the flood, but… If it is the good one, I’ll write about it later. (Edited to add: It’s the flood. Fuckers.)
One quite handy thing about the trip is that the hills that don’t exist in my neighborhood exist in abundance near my brother’s house. I also learned a valuable trick: it helps a lot to warm up with a bit of a run on flattish land before tackling the hills. (Also, my brother’s neighborhood really could use some parkland with publicly accessible toilets.)
Anything else? Well, I now know a lot more about Thomas the Tank Engine than I used to. Rheneas is a bit of a twat, no? Brand-new nephew is still too young to have any meaningful opinion on trains, but pre-existing nephew seems to really enjoy them. We took him to a fall festival (my brother says that Long Island becomes basically one solid congealed mass of FallFestivalium in September, and we certainly did pass about seven that we didn’t go to) where he was quite mesmerized by a model train set, so the next day we went to a train museum.
Also, since at one point of the Fall Festival it was blaring: Is it just me, or is the (obviously) country song “International Harvester” about incest? The singer is the third generation son of a farmer, and he’s been married for ten years to the farmer’s daughter. Which would be his sister. I can’t be the first one to notice this…