Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Chris Mauger, over at Maugeritaville, told a story that reminded me of a nice little encounter with my niece, Ava. I'll tell you the story, after I tell you a bit about Ava.
She is Ava-Marie Josephine White. She is my sister-in-law Victoria's third child. Her other daughters, Caitlyn and Alyssa, were prominently featured in a story I wrote at least 15 years ago, so please take that into account if you decide to read it, and be kind. They are both adult women now. As a matter of fact, Caitlyn has a son, Darian, a cute kid in his own right. That makes Victoria a grandmother.
Interesting aside: Ava is Darian's aunt. There is only a 10-month difference in their ages. They often play together, and it's fun to watch an aunt and nephew who are both currently three chasing each other around the house. Down the road, they'll not easily be able to convince folks that they're an aunt and her nephew. Aside from their ages being so close, Darian's father is black. So, Darian is a nice light chocolate with curly brown hair, while Ava is an extremely white blond. He's a pretty muscular kid, while she's somewhat slight. I look forward to seeing some of the disbelieving faces people will make when introduced to them and told about how they're related. Should be fun.
Anyway, Ava is a very sweet girl, turning four a week from this coming Sunday. I like to call her "Avaroo." This comes from a time when she was watching a Winnie-The-Pooh movie. She decided that if Kanga was a Kangaroo, then she, being Ava, would be an Avaroo, so she called herself that and hopped around for a while.
She was somewhat non-verbal for the first couple of years. I'm not sure why, but she was more likely to point and act, rather than speak, when trying to get you to understand something. It was oddly endearing, in a way, to have a very small mime in the family, but I'm happy to report that she's now talking complete sentences and seems to be as advanced as any normal almost-four-year-old. And our short story for today is about one of her recent conversations with me.
MY WIFE and I were visiting Victoria and her family. We had been there a little while, comfortable on the sofa while watching some video or another (perhaps Charlie & Lola, a favorite of Ava, Darian, and me and MY WIFE.) Ava climbed up onto the arm of the sofa near my side of the couch, taking a seat there. She smiled at me and then turned to watch the film.
After a short while, she turned around to face me. She stared at my head. Specifically, she stared at the top of my head, with a slightly puzzled look on her face. Following a half-minute-or-so of this, she leaned over and whispered into my ear as though she were telling me a big secret. Very quietly, she said:
"You don't have any hair."
She said this in an extremely sympathetic and gentle way, as though she were a doctor breaking the bad news to me that I was bald. She then got up on her knees on the arm of the sofa, looked me in the eyes, gave me a smile, and kissed me on top of my bald head. Her work done, she then slipped off of the couch and went into the kitchen, perhaps to perform some other act of mercy.
Well, that was about as sweet a reaction as I've ever gotten to being bald. Would that every woman were so nice about it. MY WIFE is nice, of course, but she's contractually obligated.
Soon, with more better stuff.