Thursday, March 6, 2014

When Your Nephew Turns 11

My nephew Caden is and has been the "essence-of-cousin-ness" for my kids for the last 6 1/2 years.  Maybe that doesn't make sense, but let me explain: NONE OF THEIR OTHER COUSINS LIVE IN TOWN, EXCEPT FOR OUR NEW BORDEN BABY GIRL THAT ISN'T EVEN ONE, YET!
Sometimes we all wish (and yes, as stellar and stupendously cool as my boys are, even CADEN wishes) that ALL the Borden cousins would just move back in town.  But unfortunately for them and us, that is not to be.  We still dream of having all 15 cousins together every other Sunday for family dinner, and in attendance for our spontaneous whims to hang-out.  But it is what it is - meaning that in our regular routines, we don't get to see those cousins that we love and cherish.  Baby Aleen has always been exciting to the Aunts and Grandma Myrna - throwing in a dimension of pink and purple to our lives that we adore.  She will be walking and talking soon, so I'm sure those 2 factors will add a new and exciting dimension for the in-town cousins to eat up even if they are boys..."How to Deal With a Princess"...hmmmm....  How much do you want to bet that their solution will be to buy girl-colored Legos?  I'm pretty sure Emmett has already planned that for Aleen. 
Going back to my original statement, though: To my boys, Caden is like a big-cousin-brother-who-knows-everything-who-is-the-coolest-cousin-ever-who-represents-everything-a-cousin-means-to-a-fellow-cousin-and-whose-wisdom-and-expertise-TRUMPS-anything-parents-or-grandparents-could-ever-say-ever-ever-ever-because-he-is-so-smart-and-cool. 
And now he's turned 11.
Lucky for us, our February whirlwind (Temple Celebration, Dedication, Home Renovation Projects, Homeowner Inspection, etc) all came to a stopping point on the afternoon of March 4th.  We took a deep breath. And then another deep breath.  Whew!  The oxygen sensation seemed so extreme, that instead of a light family party for Caden's birthday, we chose to PARTY HARDY! 
 We bought donuts!  We skipped dinner (because I ROCK at being a mom)! We ate popcorn and pretzels!  We sat on the side-lines at the craziest, most exciting pine-wood-derby ever (so sad this was the last one for Caden)!  We ran through a mega rain puddle that we parked in and probably almost contracted a stagnant water disease from letting it touch our bare feet!  We looked up Harkins showings, even though it was a school night, and after awards at the derby MOVIE showing with 4 Borden kids and a friend who heard our crazy plan....upon arrival, we ate MORE POPCORN....and the movie wasn't over until (please don't tell anyone) 10:30, but it was a miracle because the baby was good, and I only fell asleep a TEENSY bit, but the explosion in the movie woke me up, and there was a moral at the end of the movie.  It wasn't a school break, but there was no better time for us to go than on OUR COUSIN'S ACTUAL BIRTHDAY!

In remembrance of Caden's most awesome 11th birthday, I would just like to say that I will never forget the first time he stole my heart.  Because I married into the family AFTER he was born, he always seemed like a baby doll, or a cute kid to me UNTIL the day he said, "I love you, D-Jo"  He was just a little tyke, and in that instant I felt a very literal jolt to my heart, and that's when he felt like MY nephew.  He has always had endearing conversations and moments since the time he promised me at the hospital after I had Tyson that he would be Tyson's "best-cousin".  That was so sweet.  But I have another new favorite Caden moment to add to the list:
Just the other day the boys were playing with Caden and I hadn't said anything to him since I had arrived, but he hadn't said anything to me, either, and by the time we were getting ready to go, I figured I should say SOMETHING to my nephew, so....
Me: See you later, Caden. Love you.
Caden: Psh!  Yeah, right.  Seeing as you haven't even said hi to me, yet.
Me: Actually, YOU haven't said hi to me, yet, either, so obviously I love you more, because I said something to you first.
Caden: No, that's not true.  I love you more and I can prove it!
Me:  I'm pretty sure you can't.
Caden: I'm pretty sure I can.  I love you more than Mitch does.
Me: I don't think so, because he married me.
Caden:  That's just because I wasn't born, yet.
Me:  What?  Are you saying you would have married me if you had been born sooner?
Caden:  Yeah - why not?

Seriously - that was the last thing I imagined.  I was so shocked that I admitted defeat & let him win that battle - I DID NOT expect those words to fall out of his mouth.  I'm glad to know that if I ever get caught in a Bill & Ted's adventure, or a Back to the Future situation, and if I encountered a tragic love story problem - at least Caden can be my fall-back for marriage if I never found Mitch...except then I would find Mitch, because Caden is his if I married Caden, Mitch would be my UNCLE?  And my children would be my cousins?  No. That's wrong. Can't happen.  That's too much like Once Upon a Time!

Oh, well, the point is that he's a hilarious kid - gotta love him. 

I, for one, cannot believe he's turned 11.