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Miller: The Next Generation

September 25, 2008

My nephew is almost here! I can’t wait to meet him. My brother and I figured the Miller line would end with us. And now, we get to meet our successor as Baby of the Family.

Until now, there’s been no grandchildren, and we’re still the kids when we go home. On Christmas, we’re presented with stockings our parents fill with treats only once we’ve gone to sleep. Now that holiday traditions include drinking wintry cocktails late into the night, mom and dad curse, “Oh, for Christ’s sake, get to bed so Santa can come!” A nice inversion of the fist-shaking we faced for pouncing on them at 5 am to announce the arrival of Christmas morning.

In summertime, we splash in the neighbours’ pool–our parents’ neighbours, not ours…then we head back to the city, avoiding the stares when the other residents on the cul-de-sac realise that noise was coming from “children” in their thirties. Our favourite game is “Crocodile Hunter”–a simple one designed for two swimmers. First, throw a foam pool noodle into the water, then point at it. Next, affect a terrible Australian accent and shout, “Look! There’s one now! It looks hoighly venomous!” Finally, plunge into the water, screaming, and capture the noodle. Maybe dunk beneath the surface once or twice, for dramatic effect. Get out and give the other guy a turn. Repeat until you are exhausted and feel like you might die from exertion.

Each visit, we threaten to play something else, called “Alarm the Busy-Bodies”, nearly as simple as the pool game but a bit rougher on the constitution. Key props include: lawn chairs, the front lawn, white undershirts, short-shorts, six-packs of beer, and bad language. Whoever polishes off their beer first and lands the most empty cans in the driveway wins.

My brother and I wrestle, burp and blow it at each other, administer Strange Brew-style steamrollers, and badger our parents to reveal which of us they love more. Our grown-up games pale next to childhood exploits such as Convoy, Lawn Dart Toss, and Chase Your Sister with a Hammer Because She Made Fun of Your Lisp. We wore down their resistance by the time we hit puberty, and after watching a succession of terrible boyfriends and girlfriends come and go, our parents are powerless against our retarded antics.

And now, I get to teach all these tricks to Junior, whom we’ll welcome into the family this weekend. I’ve promised, however, to wait until he’s ten before taking him for his first tattoo.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jocelyn permalink
    September 25, 2008 4:52 pm

    I hope that you are allowed more freedom with your nephew than I am with mine. It is a rare opportunity that I have him at my house without my sister-in-law present and supervising. I’m still not exactly who she is watching more closely, me or the boy.

  2. Shivs permalink
    September 25, 2008 7:42 pm

    Wait a second… you don’t swim!!

  3. Amanda permalink
    September 25, 2008 8:58 pm

    I *swim*, just not to any degree of skill that might save me from drowning in a lake, for instance. Perfect for “Crocodile Hunter” though, since the flourishes I add to my thrashing and splashing make for all the more drama!

  4. Carrie permalink
    September 28, 2008 11:24 pm

    I loved this entry. Totally envious of your sibling-age. I like to imagine that this is what CBJII & I would have been like.

    I think your passing-on plan is great!

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