“Oh My Nuts,” Divorce and Football: The Vacation Chronicles

Nine kids. Nine kids now. My oldest niece, the one my five-year old calls “that teenage girl,” returned from Debate Camp this morning. Now, there are nine. Nine kids plus four adults equals lucky 13. That explains a lot.

When we go anywhere as a group on this vacation, as you might expect, we have to take two cars. Sometimes three. This always seems to lead to a fight. The kids have some sort of hierarchy as to who can sit where and at what time. Sometimes, the kids fight over who gets to sit by the baby. Sometimes, they fight over who has to sit by another relative. (They are currently fighting over who gets to ride the four wheelers.) Yesterday, my nine-year old daughter was subjected to the very last row of the vehicle. When we got home from our outing (where one kid got stung by a bee and another kid stubbed his toe and made it bleed) she was attempting to climb over the seat where she managed to get herself stuck. She lets out a little whimper and says “Oh! My nuts!” I tell her “Honey, you don’t have nuts.” She responds “Oh! My vagina!” I reply “Okay, right terminology, but not appropriate.”

Speaking of nuts… boy I’m glad I don’t have any. The baby was down for a nap, the nine-year old preoccupied with her cousins, so my five-year old and I ran outside for a quick game of football. I think that might be called “Catch”… but I’m not sure since I’m so totally uncoordinated. (One of my nieces suffers from this same fate and it makes my heart smile knowing she and I are so alike.) Anyway… I throw the ball at him and it hits him smack in the chest, knocking the wind out of him. I hold him and try to calm him down. He catches his breath, grabs the ball and regains his stance. Then, he starts rushing toward me, ball in hand. He gets this look on his face and chucks the ball right at my crotch. If I had balls, they’d still be hurting.

I mentioned my oldest niece came home this morning. That means she missed our family meeting where I explained her Uncle and I are getting a divorce. I tell her what’s going on. She doesn’t even blink, just says “That’s pretty normal these days.” That hurts my heart so much. It shouldn’t be normal. I pray it’s not normal for our kids.

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