Thursday, December 22, 2011

Home for the Holiday

This week I am taking a break from the island and visiting home for the holiday.  I haven't been home since I moved in May, so it's been a whirlwind of a week.  I've been busy tying up some loose ends that didn't get done prior to my move...renewing my driver's license, going to the bank (there is no Chase Bank in St. Thomas), performing some of my landlord duties on my condo, going to the doctor for a check up, Christmas shopping, etc., etc.  Of course, more than anything I've been trying to see as much of my friends and family as possible while I'm here.  In particular, I love spending time with my 4 year-old nephew whose personality seems to get bigger and bigger every time I see him.       

I won't be able to spend Christmas Day with him, my sister and my mom, so we all decided to get together early at my mom's house to celebrate the holiday.  Since arriving at my mother's home, we've primarily spent our time eating the ham that she baked yesterday and playing with the presents that I gave my nephew....Legos and a pirate ship, but right now he is playing Angry Birds and a bowling game on my iPhone. 

My nephew, Brody, opening his X-mas gift from me.

So far, though, my favorite part of this week has been the 1 hour and 30 minutes that I exclusively spent with him, shopping for a gift for my sister (his mom).  The jibber jabber began immediately upon strapping him into my rental car.  During our short car ride to his store of choice for this important endeavor, Bed Bath and Beyond, we briefly discussed several topics including, but certainly not limited to...bombs, good guys and bad guys, hot chocolate, Legos, and the fire truck that passed us with its siren and lights on.  He also managed to fit in an entire rendition of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer in baby talk and then he translated it for me in plain English.

When we arrived at the store we took one walk around to scope out his options.  He considered buying his mom some rainbow colored magnetic clips for her refrigerator, which he had also bought for my mom for Christmas, but then he decided against it.  For a while we looked for some soaps that he had in mind, but we couldn't find them.  In the end, he settled for a snowman nightlight, some cranberry smelling candles, one snowman candle holder and another decorative glass candle holder that looks like it may be missing it's bottom half.  So, about $50 later we were done and off to grab a treat at Starbucks.

Once we had made it to Starbucks, my nephew changed his mind from wanting hot chocolate to simply having some chocolate milk, as to avoid the chance of burning his tongue.  He then decided to sit down at a table where we proceeded to play with one of his army Lego men by flicking him back and forth into our hand made 'goals' and sliding him around on our table.  Somehow, he managed to win every time, even when his man didn't land in my goal.  I, however, never seemed to win even when I successfully managed to get my man into his goal.  Lego figurine aside, I made an effort to have some sort of conversation with him by asking who his best friend was, what his favorite color was and what he is currently learning and doing in school.  He could not be bothered with this nonsense and stayed persistently on course with the flicking around of his Lego man.   

When we had finished our drinks and our game, we decided we should head home.  We got back into the car and my nephew once again got lost in conversation about all sorts of various subjects.  My participation in his dialogue seemed to be inconsequential to the discussion, so I simply listened to him go on and on about all of the things that blow through a 4 year old's mind from one split second to the next. I believe Jack Sparrow had a lot to do with the conversation, but in all honesty I didn't catch much of what he was saying.  I was simply happy having him around, all to myself, for the precious little amount of time we had together.   

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