Whilst I was on my day off on Tuesday, awaiting the delivery and collection of the MacBook Pro's, a funny thing happened. The boys, my nephews, Ryan (6) and Connor (2) were outside playing in the drizzly rain. Ryan had been bemoaning the fact he couldn't go out because of said rain and wanted to come with me into town. That was until someone knocked on the door asking if he was going out to play. Then I was duly told "Angie, I'm not coming to Stirling with you. I'm going out to play with Dean". Dean is about 7 or 8.
So I continued watching the Andy Murray match on TV.
A little while later I looked out the window and saw them going up and down this little hill on their scooters. Connor was with them too.
A few minutes after that Ryan came trudging up the hill, scowling, holding his wrist. We went to the door t ask what was wrong. "I fell off the scooter into jaggy nettles!"..... and through petted lip and tears "...and Dean told me.....(sob sob) that if you get stung by jaggy nettles you'll die!" and he continued to cry, real sobbing heaving tears.
What a shame I thought. "He's a silly boy and he's just telling you lies. You'll not die from jaggy nettles, it just itches a wee bit". The words weren't consoling him. Eventually I got him inside and into the bathroom, all the while reassuring him that the really faint nettle sting on his wrist would not result in him dying. Poor wee thing. He eventually let me rub some savlon cream onto the area and his tears soon stopped.
We then heard mum shouting on Connor. She was out the back. She couldn't find him. She shouted on him a few times but no reply. We went out front. No sign of him. I could see the colour drain from my mum's cheeks and my heart started to race. Where was he!
He couldn't have gone far. It'd only been about 3 minutes. "Where's my wee brother?" Ryan asked and started to cry once he saw the panic on our faces. I headed up the street to see if i could see him. Still no sign up the hill or around the corner. Then I looked over at my aunts garden and caught sight of his beat up old Fireman Sam scooter. There he was. Playing football with my uncle.
I marched into the garden and ordered him back home as he'd been naughty and run away without telling anyone. Turns out he'd just gone up the hill on his scooter and had saw my aunt and uncle coming back from the shops so went and played football. I was glad he was there but something deep inside said "what if..." i daren't think about it.
He fled down the street on his scooter and said he should say sorry to his granny and big brother for running away. He was so cute saying sorry to Ryan but Ryan was hurt. He's a little chicken hearted you see. I like that about him but i fear he may get taken advantage of like he had been earlier by the older kid.
Back in the house Connor got changed and Ryan and me headed off into Stirling. Partly because i felt sorry for him and partly to give my mum a break. But also because I could tell Ryan was hurt by Connor, "you're my wee brother and you're naughty" were his words.
It's days like that I wonder what they'll have in store for them when they're growing up. I just want to protect them from the bullies and from bad things. I know you can't wrap them in cotton wool, but still. I can't think of a time when they weren't around. They are amongst the few people around me who can bring a smile to my face and cheer me up with a little thumbs up or a cheeky grin.
My nephews. Love.