Sunday, December 13, 2009

Everybody's Fine

Saw a great movie yesterday ... Everybody's Fine with Robert DeNiro. It's very well written and very well acted. For those of you who have adult children, bring big boxes of kleenex. For those who have little children, bring big boxes of kleenex. Actually ... even if you have no kids or HATE the ones you have, bring big boxes of kleenex.

In the movie, DeNiro still dreams of his kids as youngsters ... even in adult situations.

I do the same thing. My oldest is in medical school and, at 31, is still only 4 years old in my dreams ... frozen forever. It's exactly the same with my middle daughter who is 26 and who lives and works in DC and my son, 23, who lives and works here in St. Pete.

Nikki, the oldest, was born while I was still teaching at Canterbury.

She started talking right away. I think she might have even told the doctor how she wanted to be delivered. First borns seem to be the most independent (until they need money later in life).

As a baby, Nikki was restless and didn't sleep much. I remember holding her constantly and walking her around the house until she fell asleep ... usually a half hour before I had to be at work. We had one of those swings in the house ... remember those? The one you wind up and it clicks back and forth for 12 hours. Nikki lived in it.

She loved to shake things up.

My favorite story about Nikki was when we visited the Smisthonian in DC. She was about 2 years old. Her mother and I were trying to maneuver through the crowds of museum visitors when Nikki let go of Sharon's hand ...

Sharon .... "Nikki. Take my hand. It's crowded in here ..."
Nikki .... "Excuse me? Are you talking to me?"
Sharon ... "Quit fooling around Nikki ... just take my hand."
Nikki crossed her arms and loudly proclaimed ... "My name is Nicole. I am French."
Sharon turned purple. I stifled a laugh. "This is not funny Nikki. TAKE MY HAND."
Nikki turned up her nose ... "Are you French? My mother is French and so am I."
Sharon scooped her up as she and I both started laughing hysterically.

Nikki was deposited on the steps outside as Sharon read her the riot act. "What do you have to say for yourself young lady?"
"My name is Nic ...."
I quickly covered her mouth so that she would live to see another day.

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