Every week my god daughter comes and hangs at my house. When she was first born we watched her every Saturday, first for a few hours, then for a full day. It was fun, but super stressful for my house. My kids were growing and needed to be in a million different places and Saturday just stopped being a day we could help with my niece. So, we moved to Wednesday. My wife would grab her after work around 3 or so. I would work from home when I could and she would spend hours with us. Eating dinner and bothering my kids while they were doing home work or trying to facetime with their friends.
Life started to get in the way though. The wife got a new job where 3pm wasn’t a time she could pick up the niece any longer. I kept my work from home day as Wednesday and my Mom would pick up my kids from school and Maya from her school and drop them to me. I call it daycare and she gets really mad at me. I like picking fights with her about because she knows she will always win. I eventually call it school and she likes me again. Someday, years from now, I hope she sees this story and remembers me as a pain in the ass. She’s too young to really remember now, but I love challenging her, and hopefully this story will find her and she can see how our relationship started.
Anyway, I moved positions at work recently and I am not really able to work from home on Wednesdays, so we end up picking up my kids and her from my parents around 6 pm now. We hang for a bit, eat a little dinner and before I know it I have to drive her home.
If you have read anything I have written you will know I LOVE THAT CAR RIDE HOME. When the wife and I are both there it is not even a question of who will drive her home. I’m sure my wife loves it that she gets to relax for a few minutes while I take my niece home. We talk in the car, I play her a song and we sing and dance. Currently it is People Everyday by Arrested Development. It has a catchy beat and she memorized a few words so we crush that song. She requests before I even finish buckling her seat belt.
Last Wednesday it just so happened I got to work from home. The kids had to be at practices, rehearsals and stuff right after school so it was just going to be me working from home. The wife had something for work so she would be late also. I called my Mom and said I could have my niece at 3 even though I needed to work till 6. If I got a call or something I could just bribe my niece to be quiet with the gummy bears I had ready for her.
She arrived at 3:05 pm and by 3:08 pm we were blasting music and dancing in my living room. She taught me a few dance moves and we laughed and had a blast. Before I knew it, work was over and it was dinner time. We crushed some pasta and moved quickly to the gummy bears. Just two buddies laughing and having fun. Mixing in a few Peppa Pig episodes even though she knows I always would rather watch Sesame Street. We always fight about that too. She says she likes Peppa Pig more than Elmo. She makes NO SENSE, because Sesame Street is the GOAT of kids tv shows, but I let her win.
Time flew by, before I knew it, it was time for her to be driven home. We did our usually singing and dancing in the car, and she fell asleep 3 feet from her house as she normally does.
The next day I stopped over for a visit because I missed her, but she was out. So I followed up the day after that. Unfortunately, she was out a Disney on Ice so I missed her again. I tried again the next day, but she was napping when I visited. I was very, very tempted to wake her up, but I probably would have been murdered by the others in the house if I attempted that.
Pretty soon she probably will be moving to a new town, a little bit further from me and I’ll miss the shit out of her. I’ll see her when I can, but I won’t be able to just stop over to see if she wants to go for a quick car ride and practice our best singing voices. But, something tells me the time we will spend together will be filled with me trying to annoy her and her teaching me all the cool new lingo kids are using. Yes, I know “lingo” makes me sound old, but that is why I will need to spend more time with my Niece…
It’s weird how one afternoon of just us reminded me of how awesome our relationship is. Sometimes I get lost in the everyday. I get lost in just making it to bedtime. I lose what is important to me, or at least I don’t see it. I get a little depressed, can’t seem to find my way out, then I see this crazy haired 3 year old and I don’t have to deal with anything serious. I get lost in a fight about how Big Bird is way cooler than that damn George from Peppa Pig and I am better.
My niece doesn’t know it, and probably will never need to know it, but she helped me out a few hard times. She stopped me from being an adult for just a little bit, and that little bit was all I needed.
I hope we have a million more car rides in our future.
Oh, and if you are reading this someday many years from now, I never taught you all those swear words. That was your Mom, but she blamed me…