Orange Lemons

I like to think that I’m still kid at heart. But I’m not a kid. I’m a grown ass man. So I can pretend to be a kid but I think that it has to do with not wanting to be some boring civilized adult. There’s nothing wrong with being so responsible and taking charge. It’s just that there’s an imaginary world that as kid I still want to believe exists. The world can be this magnificent space that allows you to do things you think. Sounds confusing but as a kid it feels like I saw the world different. Maybe I just don’t want to grow up and try to see and  experience the world as I thought it would be when I was a child.

It’s interesting to see people separate their adult life from their childhood. I think just having my niece around gives me insight to what childhood really is. You’re constantly learning and growing. It is just nice to have her remind me that even though I’m old, I still have much to learn and still need time to grow. So it’s unbelievable that this is what I learn from a wild two-year old running around all hyper asking for juice.

 I love kids just as long as they’re not mine. But seriously kids are like miniature charismatic adults trying to figure out the world one day at a time. Seriously my niece is the most charming individual I’ve ever met. But that could change in a matter of seconds if I do something or say something that she doesn’t agree with, if I don’t understand what she’s saying that bugs her as well. And she knows if I’m playing dumb or not paying attention. I guess it’s these moments that remind me that even though I don’t want to be this sane adult, there are individuals around me that need me to be the responsible one. Sometimes.

I guess the number one rule I try to stick with when dealing with my niece or children in general is “treat others how you want to be treated.” It’s a good rule to live by. Not just with children but in all situations, I think.  So I don’t try to boss my niece around and don’t demand her to do what I say. I just try to understand her on her-own level and vice versa for her to me. She probably thinks I’m just some old dude asleep on the couch.

The dynamic of our family runs different and it’s funny because my brother is more like a responsible adult laying down the law for E-girl. He is the Dad. But a week ago he nervously asked if I would watch her while he went to Tucson. It’s so funny because I can tell he has his concerns with anyone besides himself watching her. It seems like he thinks that she’ll just run all over me. And she does in the sense that I try to let her do whatever she wants.  I’m the fun uncle so I’m allowed to spoil her. Of course I agree to babysit and the dad leaves. This is bizarre for me because my brother himself is taking a new role or wearing a new hat.

Me and E-girl usually have the time of our life just because she is so independent and really doesn’t need my imagination. So I’m like the guy that gets the juice, cooks the meals, and takes her to the bathroom, the logistical stuff. I Finds the good cartoons on tv.

Elexis is in love with fruit. More specifically oranges. She’ll eat oranges all day if we let her. And this particular week we were running low on oranges. By noon the oranges were all gone. So toward the evening time I kept hearing E-girl say, “I want orange.”  And I kept telling her “We are out.” We had the conversation a couple of times. She was getting annoyed too. She has this red tricycle that she rides all over the house and she drove it into the kitchen. I’m thinking just to play. A few minuets later she puts a lemon in my hands and says, “I want this.“

Remember I was saying treat people how you want to be treated. This is where a rule like that comes in handy. I didn’t try to explain why she couldn’t eat an lemon. This lemon was not an ideal lemon. It wasn’t even yellow. It was a bruised up round lemon that resembled a dirty yellow nearly a shade of orange. So I couldn’t have blamed her for mistaking it for an orange. And she kept insisting that I open and peel it instantly. Now if I didn’t open it and I told her “no,” there would be a problem. But that’s not what I wanted. So I peeled the lemon like I would an orange and I gave her a slice. But I didn’t laugh or look at her strange. Kids know when their being made fun of.  So I treated this moment like any other. She took the slice and put it in her mouth and continued to play with her toys. I wasn’t too sure how she would react or even what she would say. The moment passed and we went back to watching tv.

She was riding her bike and I couldn’t tell how discomforted she was with the lemon in her mouth. I was thinking maybe she likes it. So about five minuets later she walks up to me with this regurgitated lemon slice that is just covered in saliva and puts it in my hand and says “I don’t want this.”

 “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” was the food saying I wanted to use for this post because of the lemon my niece begged me to peel. And the saying still holds up in everyday living. The saying is a very positive one. Depending on how horrible or bad a situation is, the attitude of the individual is what will determine the outcome of it all. Having that optimistic perspective and making the most of the situation is what really matters.

Me as a kid or me as an adult. There is still plenty of lemonade that still needs to be made.

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