The Unbearable Cuteness of Being…Five

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Before I left my mom and sister’s house after my last visit,I lamented to my sister Debbie that her two kids had never come to visit me in Vegas. This is understandable considering the cost of tickets and the fact youcan’t really put a five year old or a 12 year old on a plane by themselves, so
it means someone would have to take time off work to travel with them.

The younger of the two, whom I lovingly call Charlie and
lovingly calls me Charlie, had bonded a lot on this trip, so I was particularly
sad to say goodbye to this very loving and cuddly little guy who always blew
kisses, said I love you, and made me feel like the coolest person ever.

The night before I left, Charlie was in my mom’s room with
Mom and me and I told him he needed to go tell his mommy we’d decided he’s coming
to visit. He smiled mischievously and toddled down to her room. Debbie returned
with Charlie in tow and asked how we planned to pay for this.

“Come here Charlie,” I told him. He obediently did and I whispered
something in his ear. He turned to his mom and explained, “I’ll go in a box.”
Then he turned back to me as he said it and repeated it, confused. “I’ll go in
a box?”

Debbie and I decided to have a little fun and proceeded to
tell him we would put some snacks in the box, maybe a blanket and a pillow, and
assured little Charlie we’d poke some air holes in there too.

“If you’re really good, maybe Mommy will splurge and
overnight you to my house.”

………

That was about three weeks ago. The box hasn’t come up in
discussion but maybe once since then, that is, until today. Being in the midst
of a really long week, I told my sister over Skype that I missed Charlie and
could use a hug. Minutes later, the phone rang. It was him.

“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm,” he said in the tone of voice where
you can hear someone smiling. “I giving you a hug.” I phone-hugged him back and
told him thank you for being so sweet. We talked a little more and I learned
next week was his spring break. While his big brother goes on a class trip to
DC and New York, Charlie is going to day camp.

“Tell Mommy camp is cancelled,” I told him. “You’re coming
to visit me instead, okay?” He laughed and cheered at the change of plans, then
took the phone back to my sister. I could hear him tell her something before
handing the cell back over, but I wasn’t sure what.

Debbie got back on the phone and I asked if Charlie had told
her about the change in plans. She laughed and said, “He came into my room and
said, ‘Mommy, get the box ready.’”

I wish it was not child abuse to ship a child to me in a box, but in the
meantime, I will more than settle for the fact there is a five year old out
there who heard Aunt Charlie needed a hug and immediately came to my rescue
with both a phone call and an impressive throwback reference to a joke that is
almost a month old.

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