[Brief introduction: My father’s brother Paul, and his wife Barbara, live in Binghamton and are moving across town. My father’s sister Marian, her husband Robert, and her 5 and a half year old son Sean also live in Binghamton, mere blocks from Paul and Barbara’s old house. We stayed in a motel -- a quite nice Super 8, actually, with this great plush emerald green couch that my 14-year-old brother George slept in -- because Paul and Barbara were in the process of moving, and my mom is allergic to cats (Marian and Robert have 2) plus Marian’s house is just chaotic.]
Sean is much the same kid as we was when we last saw him 3 and a half years ago. He’s older, of course, but he looks similar and is still very high energy. He blows me away sometimes with how much he knows. He showed me all his stuff, including this (kids’) Human Body book he has. One of the first sections is on wounds or something, and he pointed to one picture and asked me what makes a scab, and i was about to say “platelets” when he said “fibrin.” I don’t even know that word! He told me that red blood cells are the only cells that don’t have “nucleuses.” And so on. I was impressed, though it was “fibrin” that most blew me away.
Monday. We brought all our old LEGOs over for Sean. I think we doubled (or more) the size of his LEGO collection. He was thrilled, especially because one of the sets has a motor, which apparently he’s been pining for ever since he saw one in a catalog. So we made a small motorized helicopter, and George spent much of the afternoon Monday making a large one. I got to feel all nostalgic with the kinda “old school” LEGOs. It was fun.
Marian recommends Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions. She said she saw a lot of Anne Lamott when they lived in San Francisco, that she’s a very nice and personable person. Apparently every year in San Francisco there’s this Easter AIDS benefit, and there are all these outrageous Easter baskets made by these gays boys, and Anne let her son pick out one every year, and she thought, “Why does he always pick the S&M ones? These little bears in leather....” I don’t know if that’s a story Marian actually heard from Anne or just a story from the book, but either way i definitely want to read the book.
We saw fireworks when we went back to the motel Monday night. The next day we learned that they’re at the stadium, that they do them after the game every Monday and Friday night. That’s so neat. And they were quite pretty fireworks.
Tuesday. After two full days, i was definitely feeling a bit Sean-ed out. I think i may never want to see a LEGO helicopter again.
After lunch Robert watched The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock. I don’t understand this. He works 3:30 to midnight, so he doesn’t see much of Sean (though he takes breaks for dinner and to help put Sean to bed) and he chooses to plunk down with a movie? And a 77 minute movie at that. Marian and i had both thought that the Land Before Time movies were shorter than that. I would kinda like to see the first movie again, because i remember really liking it when i saw it years ago. They now have songs in the movies. The characters just break out into song. Oh blech. This movie wasn’t too bad, but i kept thinking it was over when it wasn’t, and while Sean was incredibly excited, he was also so full of energy, and he kept bouncing up to tell his mom about what was happening in the movie. Sigh.
We went to Rec Park afterward. A trip to Binghamton without a trip to Rec Park is just tragic. Especially since Marian and Robert (and until now, Paul and Barbara) live mere blocks away from it. The last time we were here they had walled in the carousel, to protect it i guess, which made me a bit sad because it means the music doesn’t carry as much, but i don’t really mind. They changed the carousel music, too, though, which made me sad. I swang on the swings a bit after that and then headed to Paul and Barbara’s to read because i just wasn’t up for playing.
After dinner Marian went over to Paul and Barbara’s new house to help pick out paints. As she and my dad were heading out, Robert showed up with an ice cream cake. Now, Sean was all ready for a bath (Marian had prepped my mom and planned to be back in time to read Sean bedtime stories) and my dad was all ready to drive Marian to Paul and Barbara’s new house. None of us Sweenys knew there was going to be dessert. So mild chaos ensues, Marian and my dad leaves, and my mom and Sean come down to have dessert. Robert is upset that he had taken time out from work (he works at home) to do this nice thing since it was our last night there, and here were these people leaving and couldn’t people wait five minutes to have dessert and what a lack of communication and sometimes he just doesn’t get these Sweenys and so on. My mom and i just plead total ignorance, though my mom asked if Marian knew there was gonna be ice cream cake because we didn’t, and Robert said yes. I’m sure Marian forgot. Dessert obviously would have been more then 5 minutes, and Marian was going to look at paint chips and things look different in different in different light so she couldn’t really wait, and so on. But we didn’t say any of that. We were very glad to head over to Paul and Barbara’s afterward. They are so easy. We don’t talk much, ‘cause they’re bad at keeping in touch, but whenever we visit it’s very comfortable, never awkward. They’re busy, but they know what they’re doing and are good about planning things and working around schedules and letting us figure out what works best for us and so on. It’s such a blessing to have organized people who communicate.
In my mail when we got home were 3 birthday cards (aw), including one from my friend Tiffany in NYC, in which she suggested that we meet for lunch when i’m in NYC. Whee. I feel so popular. :)
Okay, off to plunge into e-mail and my friends list.