A Pillow of Memories

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pappy & Kyle on Pillow c. 2003 Aunt Heather Piper

Kyle snuggling up with his beloved pappy on his pillow. c. 2003

Looking at Kyle from a distance, he’s definitely more a man than a little boy.  He’s nearly as tall as me, leaned out and he’s even carrying himself with purpose.  However, every now and again he does something that screams little boy, and I can’t help but notice and smile.

This past Saturday, we were watching The Hobbit:  Desolation of Smaug.  (for the countless time, it’s one of our favorite movie series)  True to Kyle’s idiosyncrasies, he turned off all the lights to set the movie watching mood, then he pulled up a pillow.  Okay, pulling up a pillow to get comfortable isn’t weird, but he pulled up the dog’s bed and proceeded to snuggle in, right in front of the television, on the floor.

You see, when Kyle as a little tyke he loved to sprawl out on the floor in front of the boob tube.  He would try and get as close as humanly possible.  It became an issue with us having to pull him back, while he always protested.  Eventually, we came to an agreement and he knew where the line was established.  I’m guessing that was ingrained in Kyle, because he stayed at the borderline on Saturday.

The action with dog pillow cracked me up too.  When Kyle was a baby, four months old to be exact, right after his dad passed away, I painted and redecorated Ryan’s old bedroom at my parent’s house for Kyle, since we knew he’d be living with us part-time.  I also wanted him to feel he was always welcomed and was at home.  (Kyle has a room at my house too.)  I embellished Kyle’s room with items for children, while leaving little pieces of his dad here and there.  To really polish off the child’s domain, I made Kyle curtains.  The fabric I chose had red trucks and dogs printed on solid blue, red, white and yellow blocked backgrounds.  I even embellished the curtains with large primary colored buttons.  They were very cute and cheerful, especially considering our state of mind at that time, dealing with the loss of Ryan.  Anyway, upon completion of the curtains, I realized I had a lot of extra fabric left.  What to do with the material?  Turn it into an over-sized pillow of course.  I stitched up the rectangle sides and made Kyle a huge pillow, roughly twenty-four inches by thirty-six inches.  It took a lot of stuffing, but I made this, unbeknownst to me at the time, favorite pillow of Kyle’s.

Pappy Kyle & Jake with Pillow Aunt Heather Piper c. 2004

Kyle hanging with Pap & Jake, the pillow was always nearby. c. 2004

Naturally, when Kyle was a baby, he didn’t really take notice to the pillow.  As he grew older, I’d find him dragging it throughout the house to lay on, or he used it as a nesting spot to play with his cars and trucks.  Soon, when he discovered cartoons, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Thomas the Tank, Bear in the Big Blue House, and George Shrinks (Kyle and my dad’s favorite) to name a few, Kyle would  pull that pillow in prime watching position on the floor, which were hardwood, for ultimate viewing comfort.

Kyle loved that pillow!  Even though I don’t think he remembers it nowadays.  So much so, that eventually the once fluffy pillow became beat down and lumpy, especially after many justified washes.  Eventually, I opened up the stitching, and replaced the stuffing to get a few more years out of it.  Back then, Kyle loved doing anything with me, and he certainly assisted with the process, which I very much enjoyed.

To be honest, I’m really not sure when we decided to give up on the pillow, and tossed it once and for all, but it no longer resides on the floor, in front of the television.  That place is reserved for the dogs.  I’m sure before removing that staple from the house, I consulted Kyle on the decision, to avoid a childhood scar like I endured regarding my banky (blanket).  I’ll explain that situation one day.

Now the present, and Kyle’s on the dog’s therapeutic bed, which he drug in front of the television to watch the movie in the dark.  Just like old times.  My little man’s still in there!  Kyle will always be my little man!

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Family,Observation & Imagination,Pets,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Maturity in the Form of Loosing Teeth, Takes Time

In this pocket you will find
A teensy, tiny tooth of mine.
So while I sleep where dreams are made,
Let’s see if you can make a trade.  ~Author Unknown

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Kyle’s 1st day of the 6th grade. What a nice smile buddy! 9/2012

Ever since Kyle was in the third grade, or there about he has been obsessed with loosing his baby teeth.  He, like the rest of my family is a Late Bloomer.  Personally I don’t think it’s a bad thing, always priding myself on it, it’s just the way it is.

In fact, I’ve told Kyle, he is lucky to loose his teeth later on in life, but he never wants to hear it.  Especially, since it’s like pulling teeth to get him to brush his, pun intended.

On a side note, it took us years of bribing the kid and reminding him to brush his teeth, when he wasn’t with us, to do so.  Seriously, years.  Sometimes I would swear he didn’t brush his teeth all week, they were so caked with crud I was grossed out and couldn’t understand how he even tasted his food.  To this day, he still has an issue with waking up and brushing his stinky breath, a habit that needs to be reinforced every day and inspected, a battle I refuse to give in to.  If he doesn’t know he’s missing areas of tarter, then how can he correct it if it’s not pointed out?  Leave it to me, I have no qualms with making him stand there and revisit questionable areas.  Anything to keep his teeth as healthy as possible.  I don’t budge on this issue.

Hygiene is not an concern with Kyle.  His only concern is with the number of baby teeth left.  You see according to his friends, he is the only one with remaining baby teeth.  I get it, he’s in the seventh grade, but he doesn’t realize he’s very young for his class and put on top of that, he’s a Piper, all makes for a totally immature individual. (maybe I should lighten up on other acts of immaturity)

Granted, he wasn’t always like this.  O no, at first, when I finally plucked out his first tooth, and yes, I yanked the darn thing out, Kyle was excited about the space between his teeth.  Not to mention he loved the promise of the tooth fairy, which made the ordeal worth while, and of course the money that generally accompanies a baby tooth, all combined made for one happy toothless kid.

Although times have changed.  A few weekends ago, as I was picking up my little man off of the bus, he sat proudly in the passenger seat and showed off another missing tooth.  He wasn’t excited over having a hole where a tooth should be residing.  O no!  He was elated for knowing he had one less baby tooth, but then obsessed over the hole and when the other tooth will take its place.  And so goes the vicious cycle.

Recently, it seems like Kyle is knocking down the count.  Last weekend Kyle showed me a tooth that was barely hanging on.  He has real issues with causing pain or seeing blood or the possibilities of either.  Nope, instead he played with that baby molar, with his tongue, until it popped out.  While working at my desk, Kyle hands me something.  It was his tooth!  I was so excited for him!  I said, “Wow buddy they’re coming out in full force now!”  He gave me the biggest grin and then informed me of the final count of those still standing.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember the count but the numbers are dwindling.

Whenever the conversation of baby teeth comes up, Kyle comforts himself with the knowledge that his Gigi, my mom, lost her last baby tooth when she was in her early twenties, while working at Kennametal.  It’s true, the dentist had to sedate her to yank it out.  Mom’s a big baby too!  Kyle loves rehashing that tale like he was there.

Nicole, Ryan and me all took a long time to loose our baby teeth too.  In fact, I remember pulling out the few popular front teeth, but as for the rest, I have no idea when they made their grand exit.  To be honest, I forgot all about them by the time I too got to the junior high.  The posterior teeth were probably consumed with a meal, giving added crunch.  I never cared about my baby teeth, at least not after I found out the tooth fairy was mom and the money dried up.

What cracks me up, soon this will be all over and totally forgotten about by Kyle.  But until then, it is a focus of his, in addition to his video games.  He needs to learn to accept the fact that he is a Piper, which is synonymous with late bloomer, but he is still having a hard time dealing with the baby teeth situation.  I don’t want Kyle to rush growing up.

Enjoy life as it comes buddy!

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Fishing Towards Independence

All there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren’t noticing which makes you see something that isn’t even visible.  ~Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

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Me fishing at Parker’s Dam. These were the only fish I caught… while dad & Kyle reeled in the big ones.  Yes it was very early in the morning!  5/18/13

Kyle amazes me, he really does.  Some days he is still the kid I’ve always known, maybe too much like a kid, and other days, he’s such an independent little man.  It’s really weird to say Kyle is independent.  He’s never really exhibited self-supporting behavior, ever.  Kyle has always been the type of the child that needed someone to join him in doing any activity, even watching TV and sometimes playing.   Sometimes he entertains himself, but he usually likes the social activity.  When he was really little, it was even difficult for him to walk back the hallway without someone by his side.  Nope, independent and Kyle have never been synonymous.  That is until recently.

Two weekends ago my family, including the dogs and my cat, went to Parker Dam for a short weekend get away.  My sister couldn’t make the camping and fishing weekend of fun, but there will be a next time.  Mom and dad got there really early Friday morning.  When I mean early, I mean early.  Mom said dad had her up at 3:00 am to leave early and get a head start on the day.  Not me, I had to pick Kyle up off the bus, before heading out and joining up with the parents, and Seven and Scooby.

Friday night was pretty uneventful, except for Storm.  She worked her way out of her harness, twice, and made a break for the woods.  The night went perfect when she came back unscathed.  In fact, she ran around all weekend, going in and out of the woods along side our campsite.  I was afraid of a coyote or owl or some other wild beast getting their claws in her fluffy middle, but to keep her caged up would be inhumane.  She loves being in the woods, much like myself.  Sometimes it’s hard to let go without hovering or controlling, but it’s a part of life.

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Scooby hanging out in Parker’s Dam. Ever since the tumor was removed from his chin, he looks 10 years younger! He got a facelift. 5/18/13

And so my story begins, at 4:00 am on Saturday morning.  The time dad felt was the appropriate hour to get everyone up to go fishing.  Yes, it was still pitch black and for some reason he wanted us to have our hooks baited before we drove down the road, maybe a half a mile to our fishing site.  All the while we were getting ready, Storm got out of the camper and was running around, jumping and leaping for joy.  She was like Houdini.

As we started fishing and getting our bearing straight, basically rubbing the sleepers out of our eyes and realizing we are dealing with little hooks attached to our four pound fishing line, something changed.  As I looked around, the sun rose over the misty still water, and as I was standing in the crisp morning air, life seemed peaceful.  It felt as if God Himself was squeezing my shoulder as if to say, ‘Things will be fine, all is in My hands.’  And you know what?  They were, they are and they will always be.  Even more than that, something was changing, was different.

Once dad began pulling a few fish from the undisturbed water, I looked around to see what was so unusual.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  Everything seemed normal, and then the fog lifted and I saw it as plain as an early morning.  Kyle was fishing alone.  It was an interesting observation, a unique sight, a bittersweet moment.  Don’t get me wrong, I was happy he went off on his own, yet felt a ting of pain for such a shift in the normal.

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Kyle & dad fishing at Parker’s Dam. They both are fishing machines! 5/18/13

At Parker Dam where we fished, there are two different lakes if you will.  They are actually one connected by a tunnel under the road that separates them.  The same fish move between the two areas.  All along, dad who is really the only real fishermen between us, commented periodically to move around if we weren’t catching anything.  As he’s always done.  At first dad always tells us what bait to use and where to stand, only because he wants us to be as successful as possible.  Nothing makes dad happier than to have us out fish, or out hunt him.  However, dad is always open to our judgement calls, sometimes.  This time I was in a little bit of shock.  Kyle was sitting on the bank, of the opposite lake to me and dad, all by himself.  I never even noticed the change, even though I should have because up until that point, Kyle was talking nonstop and that sudden silence should have tipped me off of the break in the ordinary.  He was quiet.  Just sitting there fishing, I think enjoying the moment.  At least for that moment.

As I watched Kyle fish with his back toward me, all that popped in my head was the movie A River Runs Through It, when the Brad Pitt character, Paul went off fly fishing on his own for the first time to find his own rhythm.  And then I thought, ‘Boy he’s growing up!’  I must say, I am honored to be there for Kyle’s next step in life.  After all, I was honored having the 0pportunity of being there when he first rolled over, first pulled himself up, first learned to walk, his first words.  Heck I even took him to get his first hair cut, and now his first big movement towards independence.  Yes bittersweet!  It’s funny, at that moment I also realized the dad in the movie, out fished his sons, just like dad always does with us.

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Kyle just had to bring his new Lego’s camping & fishing in Parker Dam. I guess you can never take the Lego out of the boy. 5/18/13

Me, dad and Kyle had a great morning fishing.  However, after a few fish under his belt, Kyle decided he wanted to head back to camp.  What?  By himself?  Yes, he started walking toward our camp solo.  Dad and I both looked at each other as he crested the top of the hill, past the water, out of our site.  In fact, we were both taking bets if he would change his mind and just turn around to come back, or if he was going to complete his journey.  Keep in mind, there were boxes of Lego’s awaiting him.  So I’m sure that was his driving force.  Apparently, he made it to the rangers office, which was about the halfway point.  He said he couldn’t remember his way back so he call my mom to come and pick him up.  That surprises me because Kyle has a great sense of direction, much like my parents and not like me and Nicole.  But he did, and mom came and life was all good while dad and I continued fishing.

After we were done, we drove to a more remote part of the water running into a creek to clean the fish.  Dad and I scaled and gutted the catch of the day.  It was another moment that I couldn’t help think, this is what dad used to do with Ryan all the time.  I was even using Ryan’s knife.  It was a great day, and for most people, it was just about to start.

Now to lighten the mood, funny story.  When we got back mom was extremely eager to share a story with us.  She was already laughing so hard, she could barely tell it.  Intrigued, I gave her center stage and my fullest attention.  Apparently, when we left at the crack of dawn, mom and the boys went back to bed.  Go figure. (sarcasm)  Mom said all of a sudden her sleeping bag was pulled off of her and she felt the camper shake and lean to one side.  For the record we have a little pop up type of camper with the fold out sides.  She said the camper all of a sudden leaned to one side, she heard a thud and it bounced back.  Thinking it was us, coming back early and screwing with her, she popped her head up and looked around.  Then she noticed Scooby was no longer beside her.  She got up to find Scooby at the door, and as she opened it he ran and jumped in the opposite bed.  She figured that he was so sound asleep, he somehow rolled out of the side of the camper.  The area where the fabric is only pulled down over the foldout bed.  I’m guessing the slippery sleeping bag helped his escape.  He seemed fine, but he could have seriously injured himself.  But don’t let that stop us from laugh historically.  We are still cracking up over that story!

We had a great weekend of fishing, sitting by the campfire, walking the dogs, bike riding and hiking through the woods.  On one of our adventures via bicycle, Kyle and I were riding through the camp site to get down to a dirt road we found the day prior.  Kyle rode up beside me and started singing Jingle Bells!  I actually almost ran my bike off the side of the road from both, laughter and from shock at his choice in music.  Actually from any choice in music, since he doesn’t like exercise.  He was really enjoying himself!  That kid cracks me up!  One minute he’s showing his independence and the next he is still the small little man sitting in the backseat of my car, in his car seat singing Jingle Bells.  He never ceases to amaze me.

Mom-Dad-the-boys-Parker-Dam-5-18-13-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Mom & dad hanging by the fire playing with the boys. Seven (black Lab) & Scooby (Blond Lab) Parker’s Dam 5/18/13

Then, he turns around and completely surprises me again!  Saturday night, we took turns watching the dogs and walking down to the showers.  Roughing it I know!  But when there’s a shower available, we’re all about it, especially after baiting hooks with maggots, wax worms, fish eggs and such.  As I staying at the campsite with the Seven, Scooby and Storm, through the black of the late evening, Kyle walked back.  Alone?  Solo?  Without fear?  Being in a little bit of shock, I said, “Kyle?”  just to confirm that it was indeed Kyle I was looking at.  He confirmed my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me and then my next question, “What’s wrong?  Where’s Gigi and Pappy?”  He said they were still at the showers and he wanted to head back.  What?  Kyle walk in the dark by himself?  Granted it wasn’t that far away, maybe 200 feet if that.  Again, that kid never ceases to surprise me!

Then to make me question if this was indeed my nephew and not an alien taking over his body, Kyle said, “Go ahead Aunt Heather, go shower, I’ll watch the dogs.”  What?  Is this Kyle?  Kyle Piper?  He was volunteering to sit in the dark, by himself (with the dogs and cat), with spotty cell phone service and wait for us to return?  Where did my little man go?

A little confused I made sure he was alright with the scenario and I headed to the showers, where I ran into mom.  A little confused, as was I a few minutes earlier, she asked me where Kyle was, and who was watching the dogs?  I explained the story.  Mom basically just said, “Ok?”  She hurried herself along with dad, as to not leave him alone for too long.  Of course, if anyone would mess with Kyle, Scooby would probably tear the perpetrators face off, but no need to take unnecessary chances.

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My cousin Heather cutting Kyle’s hair for the first time, while I hold him. He was afraid of haircuts for a long time! 2002

The next morning we got a little late start leaving around 5:30 am.  We are such slackers! (sarcasm)  We fished a little again in the perfect morning peace that we experienced the day before.  Not staying too long, since the fish really weren’t biting, we started to head back to camp.  Dad did stop along the creek to try his hand at the water hole just below us off of the bridge.  Once dad almost snagged himself another fish, Kyle was all about getting out his pole again.  Please keep in mind all I caught the entire weekend were a few, two and three inch blue gills.  The four inch sunfish was my prize. (sarcasm)   Kyle did manage to feed us a few trout along with dad’s catch for dinner on Saturday night.  Also no contribution from me, which humored Kyle to no end.

After casting our lines a few unsuccessful times, we headed back for breakfast.  Dad had some pretzels in the truck, which we were both nibbling on like starving fish ready to be snagged by a hook.  Just then Kyle turned to dad and said, “Your eating after you baited your hook?  That’s disgusting!”  I died!  That was such a sincere statement and too funny!  Dad just looked down at his fingers, then licked them and put his had back in the bag for more.  Yep, typical dad.  He is a true woodsman, never getting grossed out by anything and never getting sick by such acts.  Of course I was doing the same thing, and it didn’t bother me either.

Kyle is growing up before our eyes.  It’s always been happening, but sometimes there are moments that really stand out.  That weekend had many of them.  I wish my sister was there, even though she always is, even through spotty cell coverage and through stories and pictures and videos.

Apparently we are going back again, this time with the entire family.  I sincerely can’t wait!  Maybe I’ll catch a fish worthy of eating.

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Cooking with Kyle,Education & Learning,Family,Hiking & Outdoors,Hunting & Fishing,LEGO's,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing,Travels and have No Comments

Looks Like an Adult, Still A Child

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.  ~Stacia Tauscher

Kyle-ready-for-a-ride-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle's ready to ride with Pap pap. He loved that hat! Courtesy of Uncle Sonny

I’ve always heard people say, “They grow up so fast.”  I know it’s true, I’ve been watching it happen right before my eyes.  Recently, I’ve been catching Kyle wear my white under shirts.  Anyone who knows me, knows I always wear layers, even with T-shirts.  I will put on a white T-shirt under a T-shirt, which is the opposite of Kyle, who rarely even wears a shirt and hates layers.  Anyway as I watch him march around in my T-shirts it strikes me that they almost fit him!  My little man is getting so big!  I can almost wear his shoes too.  Granted I do have smaller feet, but still I can’t believe how much he has shot up and out!  I think Kyle loves showing me he can wear my cloths.  It has become a ritual that when I see him strutting  around in my Tees I say, “Is that my T-shirt?” and he just gives me an ornery grin.  Now don’t get me wrong, Kyle still is not into cloths, not even close.  He could care less what he looks like, which drives me crazy.  Once he couldn’t find the matching his flip flop.  He had one from each set.  Now granted they were both black, but the one was fixed with duct tape, which that set was only suppose to be worn around the house. Would you believe that kid put two different shoes on, a left and a right flip flop?  Then said ‘I’ll be fine’ and got in the car and was ready to go to the store.  I was mortified and he didn’t care, he just wants to be comfortable and he hates socks and shoes.  He detests clothing in general, anything containing zippers, buttons, denim, laces, long sleeves are debatable and anything that is layered is avoided.  Yep, that’s Kyle, he loves just sitting in his underwear.  I am hoping this phase will be out grown soon, although I’ve been waiting for it since he started to form an opinion about clothing.

Last week Kyle was helping me in the yard.  For every bag of grass clippings he helps me bag up and takes to the curb he gets a dollar.  While I’m mowing, he pulls weeds and he is my extra set of eyes, keeping watch for bees.  We make a great team and I enjoy him helping me outside.  As we put on our work cloths I start getting the trash bags, the lawn mower and such.  I head out to the backyard and call for Kyle.  He is a slow moving individual, like my sister.  Just then, I turned around and saw Kyle with his headphones on, adjusting them so the cord runs under his T-shirt, correction my T-shirt.  He looked like such a young adult getting ready to help me out in the yard.  I just smiled and realized he is getting older and he loves that ipod Touch.  As I made laps around the yard I would peek over to see how he was doing.  He was almost bobbing his head as he pulled weeds and then I saw his lips moving.  While I was bagging up my first round of grass clippings, I heard Kyle singing, although I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying.  I yelled over, “Kyle what are you singing?”  His reply, “Alvin and the Chipmunks”.  I about fell over, watching this maturing young man appearing older, yet he still is a kid inside.

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Me & Kyle at the movie theater ready to watch The Hunger Games 4/2012

A few weeks ago I took Kyle to see The Hunger Games.  It’s rated PG13 and with the violence I wasn’t quite sure I should.  My sister and I both saw the movie first and we discussed it.  I also reached out to other friends with children of the same age to get their opinion.  Since Kyle really wanted to see it and was really nudging me, I agreed and took him to the movies.  Keep in mind we made these plans early Saturday morning.  That kid cracks me up, he is certainly a child of twenty first century.  He took my phone and ordered our tickets through Fandango on my iphone app.  We were ready!

While watching the previews, which I will admit I like watching.  I think it’s fun to see what’s coming out and to get excited about another movie.  During the previews, the movie Dark Shadows appeared on the big screen.  Kyle leaned toward me trying to whisper, not really succeeding and said, “Um Johnny Depp, he’s pretty good.  I want to see that Aunt Heather.  I like Johnny Depp.”  What?  I didn’t even know Kyle knew who Johnny Depp was, let alone liked him!  All I could say was, “I like Johnny Depp too, ok we can go see it.”  We also saw the preview for Avengers, which comes out this weekend.  Kyle is totally pumped for this movie, of course so am I.  He already made our plans for Saturday.

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Kyle's socks don't match & he can't manage to keep his shoes on 11/18/11

As the movie unfolded Kyle watched it in his usual Kyle way, squealing and talking the entire way through it.  I about died when he kept calling Peeta, Peter!  I corrected him but I don’t think he heard me and I gave up.  Right after the movie, Kyle decided he wanted to read The Hunger Games trilogy.  That’s my little man, he’s getting bigger.  He even asked me if the book was like the movie?  I went through some details and highlights just to give him an idea.  Then he started to give me a dissertation on how the Harry Potter books aren’t exactly like the movies.  He was comparing and contrasting, my favorite way to write!  ‘What is this?’ I thought, Kyle really does have a major opinion about books and movies.  It’s really fun watching his intellect grow and mature and hearing things from his point-of-view.  So far I’ve loved all stages of Kyle, but this one is really integrating me.

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Gigi, Kyle and me at the Gutchess picnic at Idlewild Park

Kyle’s always been a thinker.  He truly thinks things through.  Taking you back about eight years when Kyle was in his twos, he was even a thinker then.  Loving my naps, one day I chose to engage in one of my favorite pastimes on the couch.  I guess while I was sucking up the ‘ZZZs’ Kyle turned to my mom and said, “Gigi I want long legs like Aiya.”  Mom said that I looked elongated laying flat on my back, not to mention I must of looked like a giant compared to Kyle’s miniature structure all stretched out over the surface of the couch.  Ever since then, his logic was to compare my legs to height.  He still does this today, standing beside me measuring his legs against mine.  His goal is to reach my height, my all of five foot six inches.  I’ve told him that he better hope for a few more inches.  After all he just may get it, my brother was about six foot.

Even though Kyle is such a little boy, and an immature one at best, he occasionally shows the adult peeking out in him.  Although, I hope he always keeps that inner child!  Of course if he’s really anything like me, he will!

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Late Bloomer

Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself.  ~John MacNaughton

Kyle is missing a tooth Aunt Heather Piper

Ringing in 2009 with a new smile 12/31/08

You know, Kyle didn’t lose his first tooth until he was in the third grade, he’s in the fifth grade now.  In fact, I plucked that tooth out on New Year’s Eve Day. It took me a better part of the day to convince Kyle to let me pull it out.  It’s amazing how the one little tooth drove me crazy just hanging there.  And it’s amazing how the idea of pulling one little tooth stressed him out.  Kyle’s not the bravest when it comes to pain or blood, let alone the thought of it.  I think that was and always is Kyle’s biggest fear, the unknown.  Well, maybe not the unknown per se, but his perception of what it should be like, his imagination spinning completely out of control.  Anyway, at this point, Kyle was upset because all the kids in his class already lost at least one tooth, not to mention those that have already lost all baby teeth replaced by adult teeth.  None of this was a concern to me, not one bit. In fact, I was very happy that Kyle was a late bloomer.  I want him to be a kid as long as he can and really enjoy his childhood.  Not to mention, we Pipers are generally late bloomers.  So he certainly fits the Piper profile.  My mom, not a Piper by birthright, didn’t lose her last baby tooth until she was in her early twenties.  I don’t think I lost my last one until I was Kyle’s age now, somewhere in fifth grade or so, maybe later.

Kyle ranging in the New Year's Aunt Heather Piper

Kyle ringing in the New Year! Of course with the least amount of clothing on 12/31/09

I remember when my teeth were starting to fall out.  My pappy would get out his red handkerchief and try to attach it to the smooth sides of the tiny tooth to give him some grip and pull.  I remember we had a hard time getting one of my teeth out.  I was never grossed out or feared pulling out my teeth. Sitting on the sink in the bathroom and starring at the hanging tooth and examining  the root was fascinating to me.  However, not all of my baby teeth fell out naturally.  You see, at one point, my adult teeth started to surface along side my baby teeth.  Would you believe my baby teeth never loosened up?  So needless to say, it became very crowded very quickly.  Mom had to take me to the dentist to give an eviction notice to those who would not leave the premises.  On a side note, I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on Kyle because that particular visit didn’t go as bravely as I may have remembered.  I know the dentist wanted to give me a shot of Novocaine before he began yanking out the culprits.  Ambushing my dentist with a slight over reaction started the whole adventure.  I do remember waiting until he approached my mouth with the needle before I forceably moved his hands, needle included, out of their course of action.  That did result in me shooting the dentist in the arm with the needle of Novocaine, which ultimately resulted in me getting yelled at by the dentist, getting a shot anyway, and the removal of a few stubborn baby teeth.  On my defense, I think I was suffering from PTSD when I was attacked by a dog and the side of my face, near my eye, had to be stitched up.

Kyle lost his first tooth Aunt Heather Piper

I plucked Kyle's first tooth on New Year's Eve - Ringing in 2009 12/31/08

Regardless, back to Kyle.  He still comments on the lack of teeth he’s lost comparatively to what he has, as well as his friends.  But I have been telling him that they’ll eventually come out.  Of course not mentioning my experience or the fact he may need to get them removed professionally.  I think I’ll deal with that situation when the time comes.

Now, to lighten the tooth pulling mood, this story needs to be shared just for the simple humor and innocence that resides in the mind of Kyle.  Let’s talk about armpit hair! Or I really should say, the invisible armpit hair.  One evening during Kyle’s nightly ritual of showering he summoned me to the bathroom.  I heard him saying, “Aunt Heather, look! I can see it!”  I thought, “What in the world is he seeing in the shower? Keep in mind, he was probably six or seven years old.  I pushed the shower curtain aside and asked, “What’s wrong honey?”  While raising his arm, exposing the armpit, Kyle starts telling me that he saw a hair.  What?  O my!  Did he just say he saw a hair?  That was the funniest thing I think I’ve ever heard.  Now keep in mind, I don’t think Kyle even had any hair on his legs, if very few and they were blonde!  Again, back to being a late bloomer.  In disbelief I asked, “What did you see?” His response as clear as day was, “Ya, Aunt Heather, look! I have a hair.”  I proceeded to tell him there was no hair.  But he wouldn’t believe me.  He said, “Look closer, Aunt Heather! I saw a hair!”  Again, even though he was thoroughly convinced there was a hair in his armpit, I reiterated there was no hair.  In fact, he would not give up on the idea, he said, “O, it must have fallen out when I was scrubbing.”  What a card!  He stood there, holding up his arm to expose the armpit to me for complete examination.  That was too funny!!  A real Kyle classic.

Kyle with Scooby Ringing in New Year's 2010

Kyle with Scooby Ringing in 2010! 12/31/09

Dad is to blame for that one.  You see, even to this day, he sometimes likes to tease Kyle poking at his armpits and saying, “I think I see a bush! Is that a bush under there!”  Kyle always did and still does giggle and gets very ticklish.  I must say, it is kinda funny.  Kyle is now ten, and still no armpit hair.

I guess there are all sorts of growing pains and many more to talk about.  Maybe later. After all, it seems to be around the corner. Kyle is growing up so fast.

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing and have No Comments
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