Mother’s Day found us at my uncle’s house. My dad’s brother. The legendary clan of pranks, jokesters, and tricksters. I had forgotten, or maybe I hadn’t realized fully, that my uncle had taught his kids to play a little more rough than the rest of us. I’m the eldest. What did it matter that my little cousins were doing pink belly or hurtz donuts? I could put them in a headlock or throw them over my shoulder.
I did remember my little girl cousin had a streak of viciousness to her jokes and pranks as well as a touch of tactlessness that made her cross that line without even realizing it was there. She didn’t realize when the joke should have ended. I have always hoped age and life would smooth those edges.
Little cousin: We should put a bow in your hair.
Little cousin: A big pink bow!
LC: AND a dress to match!
LC: And we’ll paint your nails pretty pink to match your pink dress and your pink bow!
LC: But you’ll be so pretty!
Apparently those edges weren’t so smooth yet.
LC: Think how cute and pretty you’ll be! Like a princess!
LC: With your bright pink bow!
LC: And your bright pink dress!
LC: And your bright pink nails!
Evan: How about red nails Sean? Like the Emperor?
Ah, a new challenger has entered the field.
Sean: YEAH!!! Red like the Emperor!
LC: Evan, we’ll get you a dress too!
Evan: (shrugs) That’s ok. I like dresses.
My little cousin looked at me. Her mouth opened. I say the gay joke fluttered in her eyes. Something to save face.
Me: That sure shut you up.
She closed her mouth. I smiled.
Me: That boy is a (family name) through and through. Meet yourself, Little Cousin, when you were six.
Between you and me, I don’t think my little cousin was ever as quick and bright as Evan. The talent is strongest in the eldest. And Evan is the eldest in a long line of eldests.