I’ve watched them from birth to now. I’ve seen them take a few of their halted first steps and utter the beginning of many words to come. I did not birth them, but I love them just as much as if I had.
The time has gone by so quickly and my nephews are now 15 and 12. They are unique characters and very different from each other which makes them all the more fascinating to a person who does not see them every day. I get fragmented pieces of time to create memories and I have realized that time is quickly running out before they fly from their nest.
I had a date with my 12-year old nephew tonight. It was more like an expeditious speed-date but it was an hour that I got to spend with just him. We laughed, we talked in funny accents and we allowed ourselves the freedom to just be silly and enjoy each others company. He and I are very similar creatures and it was nice for both of us to recognize that bond. He reads as voraciously as I did as a child and shares my animosity towards running.
My 15-year old nephew is the opposite. He most likely thinks he will burst into flames if he had to read a novel. His hours of leisure, and work, are spent at a golf course. He lives and breathes golf. He has found his passion and it is something at which he excels. He and I have yet to have our date but I will be asking him soon and I am hoping to make these dates a recurring event before I blink and they are both in their twenties.
I want these moments. I want to create this stronger bond before they have gone off to college and the miles are stretched between us. I selfishly crave those snippets of time where I see signs of them becoming the men they will continue to be throughout their lives. I want them to know how proud I am of the strengths they possess and encourage them to never let anyone try to change their ideals.
These dates may seem like small things to them but the memories we create will reside in my heart, and hopefully their hearts, for many years to come.