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  • Nemi

Young, Wild, and Free

No, no, no, this isn't the hook to the Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg song, "Young, Wild, & FreeP, instead it's a look at how easy and carefree life is for my niece and nephew. It's funny how a few bubbles, the Fresno summer sun, and my parent's backyard can usher in memories which never happened to me or my siblings; perhaps these are the moments which I wished for but never had a chance to relish in as a child.

My niece and nephew are three years of age and a year and a half, respectively, yet somehow they're further advanced past their ages. Over the course of time, I've watched their advancements and I've thought, "Damn, where in the freak did they learn..." and also "How the freak are these two so big already, they were just born yesterday."

I'm the uncle who comes around every few weeks in order to ensure that they remember my face, our 3x's handshake, "Peace Out" and my name! Well, if I'm being truthful, I come around because I need their energy, hugs, and baby girl's kisses; my nephew is too cool now for me to even get a hello, let alone a hug or a kiss (though the little dude did hug my leg tonight and tell me bye).

There's a part of me that wishes my brother and sister-in-law would allow me to whisk the tikes away every now and then for a few hours of fun time, a few hours of hip hop, jazz, tea, singing in the car, laughter, talking, eating, and hugs, there's something about their hugs.

Today, I made my way to my parent's house to visit the crew since I caught wind that the kids were there too. Upon my arrival at the house, my niece greeted me with a wide eyed gaze, a huge smile, and then an incredibly loud screech of some type, "Unnnnnncle..." and then she darted off in the yard; my dad stood by and simply stared at her and then shook his head as he said, "She's something else."

I feel as though I'm overly observant as to my surroundings, as to the moments of time which are quickly moving before our eyes. My father isn't the larger than life figure he was when I was younger and I can see age slowly turning its gaze on his soft yet tired eyes. The laughter of the grandkids are what keep him motivated and young at heart.

Over the course of time, I've more than likely stepped foot in my parent's backyard more than one thousand times but there I stood watching something which felt anew, the laughter of babes. These kids will have zero recollection of today, the bubbles, their excitement, or their laughter. IF I'm being completely honest, it was the bubble machine which caused me to stop and take my camera out of my camera bag in the hopes that I could capture something of quality. I mean we had bubbles growing up but never a flippin' bubble making machine!

Today, I watched the eyes of my niece, nephew, father, and sister dance whilst the bubbles flew throughout the yard. The sun has become very hot the last few years and for a forty something year old like myself, I can tell that our climate is changing and problems with our environment are only going to increase as time goes by. I pray that the kids whom I love will all continue to laugh and grow; I also wish that they would stay this size for a while longer. There's something nostalgic about this picture, this moment.

Perhaps I'm noticing certain things and feeling a certain way because I wish I were able to chase bubbles, able to not have a care in the world, able to be young, and wild, and free.

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