My brother, Kevin, has three amazing kids: Kolby (8), Kortney (6), and Kacey (2). I am extremely close with them and treat them like they are my own kids. From what I can tell, they absolutely adore me as well and it is such a great feeling. Not only do I always want to be their “cool” aunt but I also want to be their favorite aunt (I have four others to compete with and I’m also the oldest!). Even though I’m older than their other aunts and I’m older than their dad, they think I’m a teenager. It’s the cutest! When it isn’t cute is when they want me to constantly run around the yard with them, jump on the trampoline, and play hide-and-go-seek. Like I can handle all that anymore! Haha! At least they want me to do all those things with them. Among our favorite things to do together (with the two oldest, for now) is run hill repeats on the road right outside my brother’s house. The next best thing is playing at the creek when it’s warm enough.
I have a history with that little stretch of road. When I was a kid, it was gravel. We would go to the top of the hill and FLY down on our bikes. Then, when we got to the bottom, we’d use those sweet breaks that bikes use to have using the pedals to slide along the gravel. Are there still bikes with those breaks? However, sometimes we would wreck and that is where most* of the scars on my legs/knees came from. I’d come in the house crying with blood running down my legs and bits of gravel protruding from the wounds. I had a love/hate relationship with hydrogen peroxide. I thought it was cool how it’d turn white and bubble up when you poured it in a wound. BUT, we all know what it feels like. OUCH.
*The biggest scar I have on one of my legs came from when I played on a softball team when I was stationed in England. Some of the infields of certain fields would be completely grass. I was stoopid enough to try to slide for a base on one of those grassy fields and it took the skin COMPLETELY off my leg in about a 6″x 3″ patch! It took forever to heal and I had to sleep with my leg outside the covers for months. It looked SO GROSS before it healed. Fortunately for you all, I’m not sure where that picture is anymore. You can barely see the scar anymore because it’s faded quite a bit.
At some point they put some kind of tar on the road but it wasn’t completely a hard-top. Then they eventually paved it – it looks like a normal road nowadays.
That view use to look much different, including the garden and fruit trees that use to be in the yard!
Even though I played some sports in school, my brother never did. He has always been very athletic, but my mom couldn’t afford for us to do sports. I think now that he has kids, my brother wants to ensure they have every opportunity to be as involved in sports as they want to be. I don’t know how he does it sometimes. Kolby is in baseball, football, and wrestling; Kortney plays t-ball and cheers. I have a feeling that Kortney will get into cheering and just do that eventually. Kolby is a rock star. He is good and usually the best on his team – in EVERY sport! He just started wrestling this year and was undefeated! I’m bummed I didn’t get to see any matches and I never get to watch his games – I do make it to practices, occasionally.
Kolby and Kevin
That’s Kortney with her glove up. She’s gonna be tall like me!
Kolby LOVES to run with me and always begs me to let him run with me when I’m back home. I was there all of last week and he ran hill repeats with me. I had it in my head that I would do eight repeats and didn’t care what mileage that was. Kolby started out with me and was right beside me most of the time. At times, he would take a quick break at the top of the hill but would catch up to me on the downhill. On the start of one of the inclines, Kolby shouts, “Aunt Lulu*! I think I broke my rib! It hurts really bad – but I can press in on it and it stops hurting!”
*My grandfather use to call me Lulu which led to everyone else in my mom’s family calling me Lulu. I’m not sure where he got it from. I love it when the kids call me it because before they are able to correctly pronounce it, it comes out Wuwu. My uncle and cousin call me Ruru so it has many pronunciations, haha! My mom’s family is big on nicknames and I love it. My mom is Chock (and we like to say Chock-a-locka), brother is Urkel (yes, after Steve Urkel because he use to make the, “Did I do that?” impressions and pull his pants up! You’re welcome, Kev!), and my uncle is Beezle. I have no clue where some of these names came from but I love it. It made me smile just typing that out.
Back to Kolby – poor thing had a side stitch! I had to explain to him what that was and that they would come and go AND it wouldn’t’ be the last one he’d ever have. Although I felt really bad for him, it was the cutest thing. Throughout, I kept telling him, “You’ve done a mile!” “There’s two miles!” When we finished the eight repeats, I told him what a great job he had done and that we almost ran three miles! Kolby then says, “Almost three miles? How much more do we need to get to three miles? Can we do that?” I was amazed and so proud that he wanted to keep going, so up the hill we went!
He was breathing heavy, his cheeks bright red (I think that runs in the family!), and he was wanting water, but he was so proud of running THREE WHOLE MILES! He ran into the house telling everyone what he’d done and then told some kids at school about it the next day. I’m gonna have to get that kid to run a race with me sometime soon! Muhuhahahahaaaa….. <hamster wheel is turning>
These kids are going to be great athletes and it’s going to be a blast to see it happen. I hope there comes a time in the near future that I can be at their games. Hopefully they also think of me as their aunt that loves sports and running, and will come to me for advice. It’s gonna be fun!