a little east of reality

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Today I finally met my cousin's daughter. She's six, but for most of her life I've lived overseas or interstate. She's a nice enough kid, quite fun when she warms up and gets a little less shy. One thing I found strange is that she had almost no conversation with me of her accord. A very weird phenomenon it is, when you're used to the very outspoken bairns I know and love, to have every thing a child says to you be preceded by either her father or grandmother's promptings:
father: tell chosha what you do on Saturdays.
pale girl: Gymnastics.
chosha: Do you use the beam and bars, or is it mostly floor at your
pale girl: /looks at father/
father: Which of those do you use?
pale girl: We do floor and bars and beam.
chosha: Oh, okay, all of them. Which is your favourite?
pale girl: /looks at grandmother/
grandmother: Which is your favourite?
pale girl: I like the bars the best.

I'm hoping it was just nerves because I was a new person, but I did find it a bit odd. I did find it interesting to see my cousin as the doting dad. He has a rep for being a bit rough in our extended family history, but he's slowly become a more full and mellow person over the years. He drinks a heck of a lot less than he used to, thanks to his slightly bossy wife, which is wonderful (his dad and granddad both drank themselves into an early grave). Soon they'll have a new baby and being a father to Pale Girl has been so good for him I'm guessing things will just get better.

As I posted the other day, another cousin has a four-month-old son, and his brother is just about to become a father, too. Then my sister and I will be the only two of this group of cousins to not have had children. I don't know if I'll end up with any, but she might - she's several years younger than me, so she has some time to spare.

Strange to see us all reaching this stage of life, where even the party people are becoming mellow and middle-aged. One day we'll watch each other become grandparents.