At the risk of boring you with stories about my family, I want to tell you how when Natty was little he told his father and me that we were not really his parents. He said his real parents were the Jewelson family and that sadly they were much better parents than we were. In every way. To this day I have never met anyone named Jewelson, so I don’t know where he came up with that name unless he had met them in a former life and they were, in fact, better parents than we were. It’s certainly possible. Whenever we did anything that annoyed him, for example telling the two year old Natty that he could not drink the beer he had taken from the frig, he would tell us he was going to leave us and move in with the Jewelsons. We would laugh and tell him to go ahead!
Then when he was in first or second grade a new family moved into our neighborhood in Dilworth. Two sisters and their families bought a four-plex down the street on Kingston Avenue and they transformed it into one home sort of divided in half but not really. Their children were fabulous and slightly older than Natty, and they didn’t seem to mind that Natty had all but moved in with them. We started calling them The Jewelsons. Their house with two families blended into a riotous whole was certainly more fun than our boring house.
Now Natty has grown up and has not changed his name to Jewelson yet. He has married lovely Kate and has a child named Lucas and another child named Max. They are sweet and adorable, but it appears that Max is following in his father’s footsteps. The other day he told his parents that he needed a new mommy and daddy. Why? Apparently Natty and Kate aren’t giving him enough birthday cake, and Max loves cake. He also loves blowing out candles and doesn’t like waiting for his birthday for either. Reason enough, I suppose. Where are the Jewelsons when you need them?
Max enjoys telling stories and he tells them so quickly and with so many gestures that I sometimes can’t keep up with him. Yesterday he told me a story about how his chapstick had fallen into the toilet. His daddy came into the bathroom and fished the chapstick out of the toilet, but in so doing splashed water all over his shirt and had to change his clothes.
I asked Natty how he managed to soak his shirt just by getting the chapstick out of the toilet. He looked at me strangely and asked, “What are you talking about?”
It seems my sons and my grandson are all either liars or creative story-tellers. I prefer the latter. Either way, though, they are special.