Recently my little nephew, who lives back home in Ireland, came to visit me.
I say little… he is in fact taller than me, about to turn 20 on his next birthday, and was visiting me on his way to check out Japan as a potential place to live! When did he suddenly stop being the little boy that you couldn’t raise your voice in front of (even for fun) as he would cry, and become this grown-up young man? It seemed to have happened overnight.
I had to have a quick re-think about my plans for his visit. Any idea of going to see the ducks in the park had to be quickly changed to very grown up nights out for dinner, drinks and a visit to the theatre, lest he should realise that I hadn’t quite grasped that he was a fully-fledged adult.
I don’t mind admitting it was a bit of a shock to the system. I liked being the uncle who would come home to visit and cause chaos by running around the house after him and his little sister (she is now 18 years old!) making silly noises and making them squeal with delight to the point where their mother (my sister) had to come and tell me off, and I would pull faces pretending to be upset and they would laugh and tell me how silly I was. Sweet, fun, innocent days. Now memories, but good ones.
So now I have to start over in a way and try to figure out what is the adult equivalent of behaving like a fool to make the kids like me?
Well, as my nephew had only ever visited me in London once before a few years ago I thought I should show him some of the town. In a four day visit we managed:
- 2 x trips to the theatre (one musical, one non-musical)
- 2 x visits to the cinema
- 2 x dinners out
- 1 x visit to a cocktail bar
- 1 x home cooked meal
- 1 x long walk in the park (no feeding the ducks though!, much too juvenile!)
One thing I now know – treating people like adults can be expensive but, I have to say, worth every penny.
My adult nephew was a revelation to me. He is – I don’t mind saying – a gentleman. He is smart, funny, self-contained and has a quiet confidence that I simply did not possess at his age. It was a joy to have him come and stay with me and to get to know him.
I look forward to many more visits and getting to know him better in the coming years, even if that does only serve to remind how much older I am getting, but being surrounded by wonderful young adults like me beautiful nephew C.J. and his siblings makes it all worth it!
Until next time,