Six going on ancestor
My lil’ nephew is not so lil’ anymore. He’s 6 and a half, going on ancestor. Both of us have the good fortune of celebrating our born days in November. He’s a true Scorp, while I’m on the cusp. The cheeky, not-so-little thing is always asking me how old I am, because, well, he’s six and a half, and everyone needs to be something. So I told him the truth. I’m 24. And a half. And he bought it. I guess he really is a child. But he’s still asking so I suppose I didn’t quite pull off that little bit of high level deception. I mean hey, even a 6-year-old can tell the difference between 24 and 35, whether you add a half or take it away.
But anyway, pondering the mysteries of my vanishing youth are just some of the ways we spend our time, my not-so-little nephew and I. We’ve created a safe place where we can do battle without the threat of injury. He’s pure Scorp. I’ve been tempered by a good deal of Sag. So many times when we have at it, I have to remind myself that he’s still a child. Usually, he’s arguing the merits of a thing and I’m arguing the demerits. Sometimes, with the innocence of a babe, but the craftinesss of a true Scorp, he drops a bomb. Maybe he’ll say that I’m too old to do something. Or too poor to afford it. Or too stupid to realise both. Not in so many words. He’s 6. And a half.
My soft and squishy Sag bits are easily offended, and the temptation to retreat into a heap of hurt is…tempting. But the Scorp side is always a clear and present danger, so the temptation to strike is overwhelming, almost overpowering. I have to keep reminding myself that we’ve created a safe place where we can do battle without the threat of injury. Or the fear of it. He is a child. I am an adult (I think). We have to find a way to communicate that accommodates who and what we are. I’m older so it is right and proper that I do more of the accommodating. Not only does that make him feel safe, but it also shows him how it’s done. There’s a lot of give and take in this here life and he might as well learn early.
Like the other day. He wanted me (or his Fairy God Servant) to butter some bread for him. Put some jam on it. Microwave it. And then serve it. To him. Because, well, he’s 35 and I’m 6. I declined. Obviously. He threatened to go on hunger strike. I promised to bring him water and bread – without the butter. Or the jam. He started rubbing his eyes like a cartoon character, willing some tears to magically materialise, but even that failed. In the end, he buttered (grudgingly) one slice of bread, managing to turn it into a mangled mass of doughy fat by the time he was done…10 minutes later. So, yeah. I won that war.
But it is on the battlefield of wits that we find peace, my nephew and I. And in that peace, we are building a relationship. We’re getting to a place where it’s less of a war of words (and hunger strikes) and more of a conversation. Sometimes we even sit in silence. Imagine that.
Now I’m really looking forward to having my own kids. Yeah, imagine that.