Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Eat Your Heart Out, Mick

Let me tell you how things are in our house: When Finney's hurt or sick, it's Mommy he wants. (Then, and when I have lollipops protruding from my purse.) But at most other times it's Papa who's top banana when the choice between parents needs to be made. Trip to the park? Let Papa take me. Time to get out of the bath? Let Papa wrap me in my hippo towel. Wrastlin' on the carpet to be done? Papa's my main man. (Besides, Mom's always got that drooling baby strapped to her and three's a crowd. Sheeesh.)

I'm actually pleased with this hierarchy; it's been said that there's nobody who makes a greater impression in a boy's life than his father, so to have such a gem of a man molding our little guy into another little gentleman couldn't make me happier. And John loves every moment of the devoted attention, even when it means getting up at 2am to help Finney "practice his aim" by sinking Cheerios in the toilet.

The only time this nearly infallible structure (Papa =
king; Mom = she who fetches the juice) is shaken is when my brother, Eddie, rolls into town. For Finn, Ed's seasonal appearances are akin to sightings of a genuine ROCK STAR. He follows his uncle around with the urgent dedication of a groupie scrounging for an autograph! A handshake! A knowing glance! Anything!

Ed's a great sport about indulging Finn in his unremitting demands to play, run, catch, hold, fly, throw, and watch this! He's constantly comparing Finn to Calvin, the little boy from the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes, who's always getting lost in an inner world of adventure and mischief--albeit a tremendously creative and visionary world of adventure and mischief. Ed, a little boy at heart and somewhat reformed Calvin himself, obviously sees a lot of himself in his nephew (who bears more than just a slight resemblance to him).

Nowadays there's a long and mostly boring 14-hour
car trip between our family and Uncle Eddie--and next year it will require an airplane ride across the Pacific Ocean--so we're very grateful that he makes the effort to be part of our lives as often as he does. I can't wait for the day when Shea begins her rock-star worship of her Uncle Eddie; screaming boy band audiences will surely have nothing on her when it's time to justify her love.

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