My relationship with kids is simple, I want to make them laugh. I get extreme pleasure in having an adult conversation with children, and why not? These little humans can't talk about legos and My Little Pony forever. So I usually start in on subject matter this is far beyond their years, more for my own comedic pleasure and to get a rise out of parents. Just as Pixar and Dreamworks has fine tuned their plots and humor to attract to the adults that take the kids to the movies is exactly how my humor pans out with any kids around me. In my tales there is always a slight innuendo that only an adult in an earshot will giggle at, but will fly completely over the child's head. Or at least I hope it does. My brother has rolled his eyes many times as over the years I've given his 5 children sage Auntie Lauren advice. And those stories will be told under the title, "Tales From an Auntie With No Kids". I realize that if I had kids, I'd keep them away from aunties like myself. But I don't have kids, so let the fun begin. And Parents…. you've been warned.
Over the weekend I attended one of my dear family members funeral. It was sorrowful event but also a joyous one. Grandpa John was 97 years old and lived a colorful life. His stories are as legendary as Homer's epic poems. He will be dearly missed but his absence brought the family together. During the celebration of life at the cemetery, I was able to finally see my cousin Ronnie and Gabriela who I haven't seen in a while. (Hate that we shortened her name to Gabby because Gabriela is more romantic and pretty, but alas). Their youngest was with them. Little sweet Penelope. This beautiful little 4 year old steals my heart every time I see her. She's shy at first, and it takes her a while to even say a word to anyone. She just stares in wonderment at the things about her. A very inquisitive pig-tailed copper toned girl. You can already tell she'll be a room monitor and the ASB president when she gets older. So as Penny surveys us giant beings chatting over her, she walks over to a headstone and taps it with her toe and then taps closer to it, and closer until Gabby says, "Penny, Don't step on the headstones." Penny obliges and steps off on to the grass off the stone. AND I SAY, "Yea or else their arms will come out and get you." I get a quick chirp from Gabby, "LAUREN!" I reply with wide eyes, "What? Oh, guess that would probably scare a kid. She didn't even hear me. It's all good." And just like that I have done it again.
So we say our goodbyes and as I'm heading home I get a text from Gabby. She says that Penny was walking with her Grandma across the cemetary and she stepped on a headstone and her Grandma said, "Oh Penny, Don't step on the headstones." And what do you think Penny said? ……… She replied, "Yea or their arms will come out and get you."
From this day forward that little girl will either be frightened of cemeteries, (sorry Gabby) or she will be telling some kid the same thing when she gets older. See? I totally taught the kid a lesson, Don't step on headstones. And I learned the lesson I've learned a thousand times before, Kids hear everything!