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#380: Thoughts About a Banana and Life

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I was going to go to bed early and read. But at 10 p.m. the dogs wanted out and I was hungry so I fixed a bowl of cereal and began cutting a banana to go on it. That took me back 11 years when my brother's oldest son, Bobby, was five and used to spend a lot of time with my mom and me.

He and I would make up stupid jokes and poems and mispronounce words and call things by different names like feetloaf for meatloaf and smashed taters for mashed potatoes and torn for corn. He still remembers those things. And we both remember that I was the first one to show him how to crunch up crackers in his tomato soup and to call it cram chowder because we'd see how many crackers we could cram into it. And I was the first to show him how to cut up a banana to put on his cereal. emoticon

Fun times, especially for me since I never had children of my own. Now he is 16 and we don't see that much of each other anymore, nor does he email or call very often. I admit I am saddened by this but am happy he recalls the fun times we had. He asked me a while back if I had learned to play Crazy Eights, the card game, because when he and Mom played, I walked by and told him to ask her if she had any 87s. He said in an exasperated tone, "They don't have any 87s." "What about 53s?" I asked, and on and on until he got frustrated and told Mom, "Grandma, Uncle Louie doesn't know how to play Crazy Eights, does he?" emoticon

Still, the regret lingers that there has been no little one to take his place. His younger brothers never spent much time with Mom so I didn't see them often and still don't, even though they live only 20 minutes away. But they are growing up and Mom has been gone for six years and they don't understand the need for family closeness as we grow older. Perhaps one day 40 or 50 years from now they will realize that time has passed them by and some of us will have passed on. Perhaps, too, their children, if they have any will lead isolated lives and then my nephews will appreciate how precious it could have been spending time with relatives.

I regret never having had the chance to teach a son or daughter things of life and watch as they discover the wonders of the world or to play games with or to make up dumb jokes and poems with or to show how to crumble crackers in soup. And no one to show how to cut up a banana for cereal.

But each time I have soup or cereal I think back to those couple of years when Bobby was young and playful and inquisitive and let his sense of humor show and I remember how much fun we had. emoticon
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  • no profile photo CD5178852
    I just enjoyed a crumpet and drippy honey and remembered the good old days. yummy

    I used to send my sister on scavenger hunts and we played simple card games. She tells me about some of the funny games.

    I'd like to read some more happy Uncle Stories!
    3873 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2833646

    Don't worry about the 16yo ignoring you - I have 3 of my children older than that, and they all talk with me again! 2 more to go! Sigh!
    3874 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    Life was much simpler when we were young wasn't it?

    Hey, you can borrow my grandkids if you like :)
    3874 days ago
    That was such a sweet rememberence. You should copy that and send it to him on his birthday or Christmas (if you celebrate).
    At least he will know how you feel about him and family and perhaps it may spark him to make a change in his life that will bring him closer to his family.
    This was a great blog and I so glad I chose to read it.
    3874 days ago
    When my neices and nephews were young I would babysit them and I enjoyed it very much. Now they are teenagers and I hardly ever see them...they busy with school, part time job or friends. I also miss when my sons were younger...now almost 22 and 16 years old. The time sure flies by quickly...but I will have the memory of them when they were all younger. God Bless,

    Wendy emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3874 days ago
    Those are such precious memories, indeed. Though I have children of my own, I still ache for the days of closeness with my nieces and nephews. We were so close when they were teenagers. After my parents passed on, we all kind of went our own ways. We still stay in touch, see each other on holidays, some birthdays, but it's not the same as the intimacy we once shared. They now have marriages and homes and kids of their own and life gets so busy. I have that same longing in my heart for those fun times. Thank you for stirring my own good memories, Lou, my provocative friend.


    3874 days ago
    Oh Lou,

    Would that I had a brother like you...My brother has problems and won't make an effort to meet me half-way for a relationship. You're right about family. You're a writer, how about writing a family story for your extended families? As the kids grow older, they'll come to the realization of how important family is, and there will be a tangible reminder that can look to for an example of how family should be. My aunt once wrote a humorous piece about "The Christmas Tree That Needed Us" because we could only afford a Charlie Brown type tree. The story stayed around for a long time and was talked about even longer.

    Also, maybe you can volunteer for Big Brother, become a Scout Leader, etc. There are so many boys without role models, and you seem like you would be a good one.

    3874 days ago
    Thank you for sharing such beautiful and touching memories.

    I hope you soon find a way to share your life skills with other children. There are many children in this world who need you as much, or more, than you need them!

    I pray your paths cross.
    3875 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4283881
    Thanks for sharing this blog. The memories you have are so heart warming and so worth cherishing.
    3875 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    emoticon Cherish those memories! emoticon
    3875 days ago
    Lou, You sound like you are great with kids! Did you ever think of checking into the Big Brother Organization?

    I am glad you have a lot of good memories of your nephew , thanks for sharing them with us, I enjoyed reading it. Joy

    3875 days ago
    So wonderful you have those memories and I pray you will be able to help some child "now" to have good memories. You have much to give and there are so many lonely people out there.
    If you could find a place to volunteer a little time, you could make help make fun memories for others and yourself. Just a smile or friendly hello can mean so much in todays world. emoticon
    May God Bless You and help you to reach out and create some more good memories.
    3875 days ago
    Lou, you ROCK -

    You've put it out there - something many of of us feel but don't express.

    I have an adult son, with many memories of "just the two of us" when he was a kid. Now he has children, and I don't see them as often as I would like, even though they are only a few miles away.

    Missing those days is natural, I suppose... but I keep thinking it's better to smile and laugh and be grateful you had those days than it is to be sad that they are over.

    emoticon emoticon
    3875 days ago
  • no profile photo YW84FRIDAY
    In our house we ate "goatmeal" in the morning, LOL!

    3875 days ago
    Memories...how precious they are! And rest assured that your nephew will remember those special times you shared, and pass them on tho his children, grandchildren, neices, nephews, etc.
    3875 days ago
    Oh, Lou, your blog was a touching one, and I hope that maybe someone will read it and think about the loved ones they have left out of their lives, even if not on purpose. My brother recently shared with me that he feels he lost out so much in life by not having children, or marrying a woman who chose to have any with him (and of course, now that they're gone he's glad there were no kids to suffer divorce). I promised him that our children, and our children's children will always be connected with him. We both know it isn't the same, but it is the best we can do. Thankfully, he has always been a part of my children's lives, and they love him!

    Lou, I wish you lived closer. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3875 days ago

    What a sweet blog. I can totally relate to your regret that you do not have children of your own to have made these memories with. I was not blessed with children, either, and sometimes it makes me sad. I have nieces and nephews within an hour's drive of me, yet I rarely see them except at holidays. After reading your blog, I'm thinking that maybe I should take the initiative and call them to make plans. Thanks for this blog.

    Be well,
    3875 days ago
    How nice for you that you share those fond memories with your nephew.

    And who knows what the future may bring? You may have other young ones to teach some day.

    3875 days ago
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