Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Pal Jub


My sister's 3-year-old son (with the nickname of Jub) is a very special friend of mine. Many is the hour we have spent together reading stories, singing songs, constructing block towers, and discussing the intricacies of sharks, dinosaurs, airplanes, and Bob the Builder. Unfortunately, he and his mom live several states away, and that distance often makes my heart hurt. To mitigate my heart pain, Jub and I often talk on the phone. He is a skilled conversationalist, and we typically have lengthy conversations covering a variety of topics. Unless, of course, he hasn't been very nice to his little sister that day. On those days, our conversation goes like this:

"Hi Jub! How are you?"

"I'm doing great, Emmie!"

"Are you being nice to your little sister?"

"Buh-BYE Emmie!"

It's always best to end a conversation quickly when an uncomfortable subject is brought up, don't you think?

Lately, my work schedule (combined with the difference in time zones) has prevented me from talking to Jub as often as my heart demands. Because of this, my sister fills me in on her conversations with him during the day, including this recent dinnertime exchange:

Jub: Momma! I want some dinner!

Sis: How do we ask for things?

Jub: Um, Can I have some dinner?

Sis: And . . .

Pause

Jub: Your Majesty?

Last Saturday, my conversation with Jub started in the usual fashion - he said he was doing great, asked if I was in California, and told me that he lives VERY far away. I then asked if he'd like to sing his favorite song ("How Much is that Doggy in the Window" - with the Jub-requested lyric change to "How Much is that Donkey in the Window"). This question is usually met with a positive response, but this time he said:

"No, I don't want to sing it. Can I talk to Uncle Stuvey?"

Steve is also a special friend of Jub's, so even though I was a little disappointed that Jub didn't want to sing about donkeys with me, I willingly handed the phone over to my husband, and listened to his end of the conversation:

Hi, Jub! How are you?

Oh, good. I'm glad to hear you're doing great.

Where's my car? It's out in the parking lot.

Well, I'm not driving it because I'm working right now.

Yes, it's a very fast car.

Yes, it's very fast.

It's a silver car.

Yes, I like my car very much.

Yes, it's a super fast car!

Yes, it goes VERY fast.

What's that? Do I like to wrestle?

The conversation continued in this manner for some time, until:

Do you want to talk to Emmie now?

No?

What's that? Yes, my car is a VERY fast car.

As they continued their car conversation, I suddenly realized something: My little Jub, my sweet little nephew who has always asked me to cuddle on the couch with him and sing him songs about Thumbelina and the Little White Duck, had officially turned into a BOY.

When this realization struck, my heart hurt just a bit. I wondered how much longer I had before he no longer wanted me to sing to him and cuddle him. I wondered if our bond would be as strong when he discovered I'm not very good at wrestling. (Or any kind of sport at all.) But then I took a deep breath, and decided that my heart would be okay. After all, I like boys. (I'm married to one, you know.)

And the next time he asked, I would be prepared. Jub doesn't know it yet, but my car can go VERY fast, too.

13 comments:

Jannah (Ferguson) Au said...

Oh dearest Em, you can hang on to him, after all, in addition to your speedy driving, haven't you taken stage combat? You can impress him with swordplay, or if he isn't impressed, you can just wait till he is tired, sick, or gets hurt wrestling Stuvey, that's when little men need the soft stuff!

Blondie said...

I feel your pain!
My very special nephew (the one who could say my name before he could say just about any other word, the one who preferred me over any one except his own mother, the one who was my very favorite snuggle buddy when he was two) now drives a car, plays the cello and rolls his eyes at me when I tell him he needs a haircut!

I think we all have kids in our lives that we would like to freeze in time and not let them ever grow up. I sometimes get really homesick for my babies.

I had a conversation with my four-year-old about this same thing just the other day. It went something like this.
Me: Do me a favor.
A: What, mommy?
Me: Don't ever grow up!
A: (crying) but then I won't get to be a surfer.

Reb said...

My son was in tears on Christmas Day because he asked his sisters what they liked better: Hannah Montana or his brand new transformers. They told him they liked Hannah Montana best. (He's the only boy with 4 sisters, mind you.)

He also asked me the other day if I had a green goblin costume around anywhere. Yeah, just a minute, let me look around in my pile of costumes I just forgot to tell you about...

I love that I got to have at least one son, but I am not very prepared to know how to deal with him sometimes! I loved to hear about your cute nephew.

Annette Lyon said...

I so hear ya on this one. I've been spinning since August when my baby boy up and became a junior high kid.

I keep referring to him as my little boy. He responds with, "MOOO-OOOM! Stop it! I'm almost taller than you!"

Yeah. Like THAT little fact helps.

TnD said...

My four-year old nephew Luc spent the weekend with us in CA not long ago and was ga-ga for Claire. He had so much fun with her making eyes and trying to make her laugh. At the end of his vacation I hear him in the back of the car, where he was sitting with Claire saying "Uck, Uck, when he (referring to Claire) grows up, he is going to be a girl!". So you are officially a girl, it will swing in your favor again in a few short years Em.

Carolyn said...

That's a beautiful photo of you giving Jub a hug. I taught a song to the children at church yesterday which included this phrase: "all in the love light of Jesus' face." I was trying to get the little kids to imagine what it means to show "love light" in one's face. This photo of you pretty much captures it.

Emily said...

Happy happy birthday!

TmeggenT said...

Happy birthday you beautiful person, you!

AzĂșcar said...

I found out recently that El Guille has been answering the phone at our place and having conversations with the people on the other end of the line...I had no idea.

AzĂșcar said...

And happy birthday, I hope your rice cake was all it was cracked up to be.

Emmie said...

Carolyn,
Thank you so much for your lovely, lovely words.

Emmie said...

Thank you all for your comments and birthday wishes!

cotton_in_the_medicine_bottles said...

Happy Belated. Cuz I didn't know.