Thank You Very Much, Aunt Dana…

Almost a week ago, my house was all a buzz because of the preparations for our family Christmas dinner. My mom picked up my nephew from school, and she was waiting to hear back about him being able to go help out at the police station (back in August, the Porterdale Police Department made Jajuan an honorary officer). I was doing…something… I can’t remember…. anyway, I was piddling around the house getting ready – OH YES I was making my mini banana pudding cups (see below):


Anyway… the house was a buzz with prep and it seemed like the Chief of Police was taking forever to respond to my mom about Jajuan coming. He was getting antsy, and he had already gotten dressed in his uniform. The stemming had begun – he was ready to go. I started to see some concern on my mom’s face and she finally broke the news to J that he probably wasn’t going to be able to go because she hadn’t heard back. About 30 minutes later, mom brings in the bad news that Jajuan wouldn’t be able to go to the station because the chief had a prior engagement. When mom confirmed the news I knew that J was going to be upset. It was already stressful because he was leaving the next day for his winter break with his mom. I didn’t want him to have a stressful night.

I asked him if he wanted to drive me around in his golf cart. I usually don’t like to be driven around in his golf cart, but this was necessary. He hadn’t driven his golf cart in a couple of months and he usually likes to drive people around. So I put on my puffer vest, and wrapped a scarf around my head (I had just gotten my hair done and it was windy outside). I backed out of the garage and then let him take over.

Typically, Jajuan only is allowed to drive in the back yard because it’s fenced. He’s not really street legal ;-). This was the wildest ride I have ever been on. He drove to the spot where he likes to turn the water on and make mud so his wheels can spin out. Then, he showed me how well he could back up and turn around. Drove by the neighbor’s yard and looked at the chickens, Jajuan laughed. I hadn’t seen that smile and laugh in a bit. To be honest, I hadn’t solicited it in a while either, but it was good to see it at that moment. Then after about 10 minutes, We stopped at the back at the back door of the house and Jajuan looked me in the face and said clear as day: “Get out, Aunt Dana.”

Wut? I looked at him and asked if he was ready for me to get out and he agreed. That’s laughable, but then something happened. Right as I was about to get out, again Jajuan looked me again and plainly said ” Thank you very much Aunt Dana.” I don’t know why, but that gratitude touched my heart so deeply. It reaffirms that Jajuan’s awareness for the world around him. It also showed me how much he does love me.

I am not the best example of that love all the time. Jajuan is notorious for bursting into my room while I am getting dressed or on a conference call, and it drives me up the wall. He sometimes blabbers on and on about Sachi staying out of the trash can and making sure to put the right utensils in the sink. I am the imperfect aunt who sometimes shoos him away. I’m the horrible aunt that doesn’t appreciate him. Ugh so much guilt, but I am so glad that there is mercy.

I love that boy…


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