Aunt T: So how tall are you boys this year?
[Grandpa gives me the growth chart stats.]
Aunt T: Wow! Only 12 more inches, and you'll catch me. You're getting so tall!!
Thunder [nephew, age 7 3/4]: I don't want to be as tall as you. I want things to stay just like they are right now.
Aunt T: You think that now, but you won't always. You'll grow tall like your Mama and Daddy, and before long you'll be the ones giving me piggy-back rides.
[giggles in the background as Rocky and the Thunder Twins repeat that last idea to each other]
Thunder: Well, one thing's for sure: I'll never be heavier than you.
[Grandpa guffawing and slapping his leg. Auntie coughing in disbelief.]
Aunt T: Actually, um, there aren't very many grown-up men heavier than me.
Grandpa: Once you start really doing sports, you'll get big strong muscles and be heavier than you are now. Heavier doesn't mean fat though.
Thunder: No, I don't like sports. I'm pretty sure I'll never be heavier than her.
In fairness to Thunder, you should also know what he said the next time we spoke on the telephone:
Thunder: Aunt T, I have 2 things I really need to tell you.
Aunt T: Really? Great! I'm all ears.
Thunder: Okay, the first thing is that I lost three teeth.
Aunt T: Three all at once?? Uh-oh, did one of your brothers punch you in the face?
Thunder: Noooo. They just came out. Well, Daddy kind of helped me with one of them, but nobody hit me.
Aunt T: That's good. What did the tooth fairy do, seeing three teeth at the same time? Did she pay you for all of them?
Thunder: Yep. All three. But there's another thing I really need to tell you.
Aunt T: I remember. What's this other thing?
Thunder: I wanted to tell you that those hats you made us for Christmas really do come in handy in this cold weather we're having.
|Said Christmas hat
Thunder: Noooo, I don't think I should wear it to school because it might get lost. But I wear it to sleep in!
Aunt T: That sounds smart about not wearing it to school. I'm just glad you like it and it keeps you warm. I loved making it for you.
Thunder: Well, I just wanted to tell you that because I thought it would make you feel good.
Aunt T: Mission accomplished. Thank you.
The next time I saw him and his brothers in person, he wrote me this note:
A blessed Valentine's Day to you, Crumbles. To paraphrase a wise boy, I hope you are feeling good, and wherever you are remember that God loves you wherever you are.