Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Avaroo



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.


39 comments:

Granny on the Web said...

What a lovely child, she'll grow up to be very popular if she carries on in this vein.
Lovely story too, and a lovely photo accompanying it.

Love Granny

Michelle H. said...

Absolutely adorable niece you have! And a wonderful story you shared.

Carolina said...

You know what they say: Children and drunks always speak the truth.

She's just adorable. I agree with Granny ;-)

lime said...

oh my stars, she named herself avaroo and she lovingly kissed your baldness. that girl is an absolute dear and utterly adorable.

Pat - Arkansas said...

A wonderful, sweet story, Suldog. Avaroo has the makings of a gentle, compassionate person.

GreenJello said...

Cute.

And I like that you think YOUR WIFE is contractually obliged. LOL!

jinksy said...

Ah, how sweet! As long as she didn't start suggesting a wig...

Fire Fox said...

Avaroo - what a great name, sounds as if you might need to start a children's book about her. You have the talent, Avaroo has the character... children will love it!

Jazz said...

Bwah!

Me, I like bald. Bald is sexy, eveyone knows that!

endangered coffee said...

BB EC points to the "hair" on my head, as little as it is, and calls it "Daddy's hair"

I think he may be mocking me

Karen said...

Haha... what a doll.

Chris said...

Adorable story, Sully. And thanks for the shout-out.

Jeni said...

Although I do know perfectly well that you do sometimes write really sweet and sentimental stuff here but this post, on top of the blog awards one, is such a pleasant surprise. Actually, I think it is one of the sweetest posts I've read anywhere in a while.
She sure is a little charmer and I loved that she came and kissed your bald head! Priceless! I'd love to have been a fly on the wall to so as to have seen your full reaction to that move too!
Great post, my friend.

Jenn said...

How adorably sweet is Ava! Oh man you just brought back an amazing memory of my grandfather with your story. He was bald and a little round in the belly. When I was a kid I would pat his tummy & rub his head and he would get this sarcastically exasperated look on his face, take a comb out of his pocket and say to me "don't mess up my hair" while he combed his bald head :)

On a side note...Chris is one of my newest very favorite writers, good on you for linking to him so he will hopefully get a lot of new readers!

Christina LMT said...

What a Sweetheart Avaroo is! Just a wonderful, wonderful child.
And, as usual, an exceptional post from you...:)

John-Michael said...

While Personality. Temperament, Skin Hue, Body Type, or Speech Skills, may (and will, most likely) vary in your Family ... Heart and Loving Spirit is an obviously consistent trait. How blessed You/They are!

Loving You, Jim ...

Buck said...

That made me smile... a big, broad grin... actually. What a great reaction to your lack of hair!

re: the aunt/uncle thing. My father's kids from his third marriage and my two older boys had the same sort of relationship as kids (still do, too. imagine that.)... there is one year apart in between all four, i.e., my oldest, followed by my oldest younger sister, then my middle son, yadda, yadda. And then there's 30 years difference between SN3 and my oldest younger sister... and SN3 is her uncle. It gets complicated... ;-)

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

Our such a softie - love it...
thank you for such a great glimpse of the family - :)

Cath said...

Awwww bless her little heart!

I'm with Lime.

Gennasus said...

What a sweetie Ava is!

As for the bald thing, I don't think it matters to most women (contractually obligated or not), seems to be more of a male issue.

Wear your lack of hair with pride.

The Things We Carried said...

Oh she is lovely, and what heart she has!

Angie Ledbetter said...

That is truly precious!

Melissa said...

She's a cutie! What a sweet thing to say and do. Thanks for the smile tonight while I was reading it. :)

Hilary said...

Avaroo is Avadorable. What a sweet little angel.

ciara said...

now that is a sweet story! i see unconditional love there :)

i beati said...

May all of life's big events be communicated to you in such a lovely way !!!sandy

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I like that, contractually obligated!!! Humprfh!!! On all levels???

Bless little Ava, I wonder did she think you were ill having no hair.

Moannie said...

Thank you for showing what I always knew to be true...that you are like one of those chocolates with a hard exterior but inside is all sweet and gooey. Lovely story about a very sweet child. Sorry, but your ascerbic side will never be taken seriously again...[not that I did, well, a little perhaps]

Nana Net said...

Thank you so much for a beautiful, heartfelt story! My late Mom always said that out of the mouth of children was the truth being spoken! And I honestly believed her and still do. Guess because they have not been touched by the ugliness of this world we live in.
Still on a happier note, Suldog, you truly are a great man whom I just can't get enough of reading his blog! Take care and know you are in my thoughts.

Nana Net

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

That is so sweet it made me shiver!

Ruth and Glen said...

She sure is a beautiful little girl. Isn't it amazing how the little things in life make such a big impact on us. Be sure to save that story for Avaroo for when she is older.

Thanks for another great read !

Janet said...

What a cutie, and a sweetheart to boot! Thanks for telling that story again (you told it to me in an email or a comment once). The Queen's nickname in utero was Elroo.

Shammickite said...

Perhaps, if she learns to knit, she'll knit you a nice warm woolly hat!
With a pompom.

Jane! said...

dude, where'd it go?

Suldog said...

The hair? It said it was just going to Florida for a couple of weeks and would be back in time for Christmas. I haven't seen it since.

Chris Stone said...

What a cute story!

Granny on the Web said...

Hi, I am back just to tell you you are tagged on my post today...

Love Granny

Pouty Lips said...

Mr. P has a sunroof and I love him and kiss his bald little head all of the time :)

Thimbelle said...

An absolute doll baby. What a sweetheart! :)