When I was in elementary school, I distinctly remember thinking about what it would be like when I was an uncle. I had many cool uncles and aunts, each who had their own impact on me as a kid, and I wanted to grow up and be the one who made life fun for my nieces and nephews.
Bedtimes would not be enforced, nor would mandatory naps. The little ones could watch TV and play video games to their heart’s content, if there was enough time between super-fun mind-blowing activities. At the amusement park I would buy them as much candy, ice cream, soda and other junk food as they wished. Then, I would give them back to their parents, being immortalized as a hero.
The visit of Max and Mina almost went like that, but I found myself encouraging them to eat fruit and veggies (or just eat at all). Instead of relaxing boundaries, I found myself imposing them. Surprisingly, they thrived with the boundaries, and I found that rewards were much more appreciated when they had to work for them. We were able to keep them occupied in activities for most of the time, and resorted to TV for the little down time that we tried to sneak in or to pump them up and watch them dance. I think the most fun part of my observations was remembering when I used to switch between what I now perceive as reality and the blend of reality/imaginary worlds that weren’t so clear cut when I was 5.
Though our time together was limited, I truly feel that my life was enriched by the little ones much more than should have been possible in less than two weeks. I can’t wait to hang out with them again. Even more so if they’re in a good mood and not crying or fighting!
It will be interesting to see what other things they have to teach me about life, as I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. Next time, maybe I’ll be able to take them into the ocean and share the wonders of the aquatic world that is my home.