This past Sunday we got to meet Semi-Stepson-in-Law's family -- his mom, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew. The children, who are just li'l kiddos, are adorably precocious -- no surprise, growing up in a household with creative parents who work in the entertainment industry. And they love their uncles -- at the sight of them they scream "Uncle _______! Uncle _________!" and come running for hugs.
Yesterday we took Nephew to Animal Kingdom while his sister was in school. This kid is a theme-park veteran, but he was nonetheless entranced again by the tour, peppering the doting adults around him with questions and getting a kick out of the very controlled thrills of the safari ride. The sight of him happily swinging hands with his uncles as we walked down the sidewalks was priceless. And they're constantly teaching him -- about the animals, about numbers and shapes, about the appropriate courtesies that should be demonstrated by a proper southern gentleman. (You've got to love a four-ish child who says, "Yes, ma'am" and "Yes, sir." And who calls me "Miss LutheranChik.")
Contrast that with the encounter we'd had the day before at Universal, where we passed by a parent informing her youngster that, since he couldn't behave, she was turning him over to the authorities for foster care until he turned 18. Maybe she was auditioning for a remake of Mother of the Year.