Memories Out of Season

 

December 22, 2014


Today is my youngest nephew's birthday. Ryan is thirty-two.

I gaze once again at this favorite photo: of Aaron, always the Golden Child, and Renee, the Sweet, Bunny-loving Daughter, heading out on the first day of school. And there, behind and peeking around them, is a little imp.

Imp, urchin, evil elf--according to his sister.

From an early age Ryan distinguished himself with a natural talent for mischief, seeming to take a perverse glee in it, and never passing up an opportunity to torment his older sister if he could help it.

In the way of some young children, he understood intuitively that, if he was just adorable enough, he could probably get away with murder.

He became the model for the young boy Earle in my story, The Legacy of Emily Hargraves, but he could just as well have been the model for Dickens' Artful Dodger, or Twain's Tom Sawyer.

And today, despite the predictions that he would grow up to become a sociopath (True, Renee's predictions, but supported by ample evidence she had assembled over the years), Ryan is an incredibly nurturing father, a loving and attentive husband, a considerate son; all around, a responsible and well-adjusted adult. I admire what he has created with his life.

And yet...I miss the little imp.