A few months ago, my ten-year-old nephew (my brother’s son) flew in from Atlanta and spent his spring break with us.
I interviewed him…
Christina (sitting on my bed with my laptop in my lap): Okay, what was the happiest moment of your life?
Ari (sitting beside me, watching me type): When I became a rap sensation! (laughing) No, I’m joking, I’m joking. (still laughing) On my tenth birthday when I finally became double digits. I felt older and more free.
Christina: What has been the most difficult part of your life?
Ari: Hmm. Hmm… (noticing that I didn’t type “Hmm. Hmm…” in my notes) Come on! Type that!
I was around five when my younger sister was born, and it was kind of hard accepting that I wasn’t going to be the center of attention anymore.
Christina: Has it gotten easier?
Ari: It’s been easier now because I have one younger brother and two younger sisters and I’m the oldest. And I’m not losing that much attention; the younger ones are.
Christina: You are so insightful. Who’s your best friend?
Ari: I don’t know. I don’t really have an order for my friends.
Ari: Why are you like, “Oh”?
Christina: Because that’s a really interesting way to word it. I like it – you don’t have an order to your friends. What are you looking forward to?
Ari: Probably if everybody’s going to have a flying car. Because my dad told me when he was younger everybody was like, “In the year 2000 there will be flying cars in every city . . . every corner of the world.” (waving his hand)
Christina: Do you think it’ll happen in your lifetime?
Ari: I don’t really know, because it’s been 15 years from the year 2000, and I haven’t seen one yet, so…
Christina: Do you have a fun family story?
Ari: Here’s a funny story – my dad painted the island in our kitchen booger green. (laughing)
Christina: Speaking of your dad, what do you think he was like when he was younger?
Ari: He had blond hair and he was a trouble maker. But like, real blond, like bleachy white. He was a good soccer player, he did okay in school.
Christina: Do you think he was popular?
Ari: Yeah, for his zits. (laughing hysterically) I’m joking! I’m sorry! He was popular from soccer. (rolling on the bed laughing) FOR HIS ZITS!
[Note: To be fair, Chad and I both had zits. I had more than he did.]
Christina (laughing): What’s your favorite thing about your mom and dad?
Ari: My dad probably gives me more freedom than my mom. But with my mom, I don’t know…I just love her. (smiling)
Christina: I love that. Have you ever stood up for someone?
Ari: Yeah, a bunch of times. Like, at school, I was probably in the second grade and this kid was picking on this other kid, just saying rude stuff. And I just said stop it.
And don’t type this, but in kindergarten this black kid named Josh poured peach juice in my hair, but today he’s one of my best friends. To this day, we still laugh about it.
Christina: Why can’t I type that?
Ari: I guess you can. It was all sticky and I was just MAD, like… (laughing and rubbing his hands through his hair, imitating his kindergarten self) We still laugh about it!
Christina: I think that’s a great story. Tell me about night fishing.
Ari: When we first moved into our new house, we saw some people at the lake across the street from our neighborhood. We saw people fishing all the time, but we didn’t know if we needed permission. So at midnight, Dad and I got into our camo and camping clothes and snuck out.
And it was prom night so the cops were out. We’re heading out and there were cop cars so we hid in the trees and the ditches. When we got to the lake, we saw some teenagers on a hill across from us, and they sounded like they were drunk or something. Yeah, I remember that night. Like, “We hid from the cops!” It sucked though because we didn’t catch anything.
Christina (not entirely sure if he’s allowed to say sucks, but assuming his parents can handle that one when he gets home): What do you think you’ll be like in high school?
Ari: Smart, handsome, gangsta…Nah, I’m joking about the gangster, but smart, handsome, strong. I could keep going on? Do you want me to keep going on?
Christina: Do you think you’ll be a good guy?
Ari: I’ll fall nearer to the good side, but I won’t be perfect. Just a tad of a trouble maker. I don’t want it to be like me and the principal are best friends though.
Christina: What are you like now? How would you describe yourself?
Ari: My favorite color is navy blue. Oh yeah, and I like the sport of soccer, and my favorite animal is cats and favorite bird is the great horned owl and favorite book is the I Survived series and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Oh yeah, and I like Nike socks and shoes and clothes. And Gatorade and Coca Cola are my favorite drinks. And I like my mom’s spaghetti and my dad’s steak. And I like to be a goofball.
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And that, my friends, is why I love my nephew so much.