Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Power of Four: Huey's Version

Yesterday was my eldest nephew Huey's fourth birthday.  My brother posted a photo of him, resplendent in his pirate Halloween costume, complete with hook and big floppy hat, and of course wearing the giant sunglasses that make him look like Jackie Onassis.  He loves his sunglasses.

Thinking of him made me remember one of the first posts I ever read by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot.  (www.yarnharlot.ca; she's Canadian).  Steph made the New York Times Bestseller List with one of her books of knitting humor, which perhaps seems improbable but is nonetheless true.  Anyway, when Steph's nephew Hank turned four, Steph wrote a blog post called, "The Power of Four."  It became a very popular and celebrated post.

I say all that because Hank is fourteen now, and Steph's other nephew, Lou, who was born yesterday, is nearly two (he and his new Christmas sweater were the topic of Steph's blog yesterday.)  And that's astonishing, but not nearly as astonishing as Huey turning four.

He was born a few weeks ago, or so it seems.  I was actually in Florida at the time, during the coldest weather Ocala has ever had, and the little heater in my hotel room wasn't really up to the challenge.  Early in the evening my brother texted me that his wife was in labor, so I stayed up reading, huddled with a sweater on in bed, waiting for news.  Eventually I fell asleep.  When my phone chirped in the middle of the night I woke just long enough to read that Huey had been born, and all was well.

I got a new title that morning:  Aunt Kim.  I love being Aunt Kim.  I have three baby nephews now.  Louie isn't old enough to talk about how old he is.  Dewey insists that he is little, not big.   But Huey lives large, with his quicksilver brain and even quicker tongue.  He's got the red hair I hoped my children would inherit, and luminous brown eyes behind those omnipresent sunglasses.  He's empathetic and funny and he can wear just about anyone out.

Yesterday my Mom texted me.  She couldn't call, she said, because Huey and Dewey's preschool was closed for snow and so she had them for the day, the second day in a row, with weather too bad to let them play outside, and so she was, perhaps, a bit distracted..  It was 9 am and they had blown through 3 activities and were now, Mom said, watching Semen Street.  I suggested that might be a little risque for them. She shot back, irritably, "SESAME Street.  Autocorrect."

Four is a wonderful year.  Full tilt, Huey.  Go get 'em.