Leesa was starting to wonder if having her younger brother babysit her children once a week was the wisest decision. It had been an idea her husband had mentioned two months ago. And she had thought things were going well until their 7-year-old’s teacher left a message saying their daughter was explaining how school really wasn’t for everyone and wasn’t even always necessary.
Without a second thought, Leesa knew her younger brother was to blame.
With his ripped jeans and tight tees, Matthew didn’t appear to have an avuncular bone in his body. His conversations with his niece and nephew didn’t help either. Instead of talking to his sister’s kids about their classwork or play dates, he was often explaining his tattoos, the thrills of skydiving and base jumping and how Harleys were far superior to any other mode of transportation available.
“Get a Harley, Charlie,”Matthew said, as Charlie gnawed his teething ring with his sore gums. Charlie stared wide-eyed, saliva covering his chubby chin.
“Remind him I said that, Emma,” he said to Charlie’s older sister. “And you should get one too, and maybe at least two tattoos on your back or arms–you’ll look good with some ink…maybe even two sleeves…”
Emma nodded, recording every word in her memory banks.
“Thanks, Uncle Matthew–”
“Matt, Emma–just call me Matt.”
Emma pondered this statement for a moment and then smiled.
“Um, Matthew…” Standing in the doorway, quietly observing the conversation, Leesa shook her head.
Emma got up and ran over to her mother, squeezing her tightly around her waist.
Leesa bent down and hugged her daughter.
“I’m going to look good with some ink,” Emma beamed at her mother.
Leesa shot her younger brother a look of impending death.
“You look beautiful now, baby,” Leesa said, striving to control her tone. “You don’t need any ink.”
Leesa straightened and pointed to the kitchen. “I need to speak with you for a minute,” she said, her tight smile betraying her anger. “Say goodbye to Uncle Matthew, children.”
“Bye Matt,” Emma called over her shoulder as she went to play with Charlie, making motorcycle sounds as she skipped.
“See you next week, kids!”
Actually, you won’t, Leesa thought. There was no way she was having her children getting tattoos and riding motorcycles before they were 50. She was going to end this now.