Yesterday I spent 6+ hours with 6 kids (5 girls and 1 boy) between the ages of 4 and 12.  These kids are the son and daughters of two of the sons (and their wives) of one of my closest friends, a friend that I have had since childhood. They call me “Uncle Neil.”  They are in effect my great nieces and nephew.

We had a great time on my floating home on Lake Union in Seattle.  Just jumping in the water, playing games on the living room floor,

swimming, laying on floating tubes,


sitting in the hot tub,

eating hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, taking a trip around the lake in my powerboat.

and, of course, spending time in my newly refurbished, old rowboat which has yet to be named. (I want to thank everyone for their suggestions.  Many interesting ideas.)

In the evening, after they had left to go their homes, I sat on my couch and just sighed.  Just took a few moments to reflect on the day.  From one point of view the day was exhausting, nonstop, not one moment to chill or relax.  However, what I was feeling at this moment was just the opposite.  What struck me was how invigorating the day was.

  • To see these youngsters so wide eyed about life and everything about life.
  • To hear them ask question after question about anything and everything.
  • To observe how short their attention span is, and how their attention jumps instantly from one thing or topic to another.
  • To see the interplay with each other, and with their parents.
  • To see how each young person processes good and bad.

On the one hand it was a total whirlwind.  On the other hand, it was so uplifting to me to see how really young people – at their age — approach this world we live in.

They are enthusiastic, curious beyond belief, interesting, and somewhat risk taking.  They are just plain fun, and they are determined to have fun.

Having said that, they were very aware of the need for life jackets, the rules of the house (no food in the living room, no wet feet inside the house, etc.), and when to ask permission, when to say please and when to say thank you.   somewhat surprisingly to me, you could see from time to time, the emerging maturity of each one of the children.

Yes, there were challenges, but…

My goodness, we are so lucky to have young people in our lives and on our planet.

What a continuous breath of fresh air they are.

Thank you — young people — for making my life so much more fun, uplifting and fulfilling.

7 thoughts on “Kids”

  1. What a wonderful day for them and
    for you. How blessed are they that you shared your wonderful house on the water, and how blessed are you thot you truly enjoy sharing all that you have worked and continue to work so hard to attain and maintain.

    Another great blog, Neil

  2. Thank you, Neil, for this very complimentary post!! Yes, they are Ellie’s and my grands. Yes, they are curious and much more respectful of others and other property; they are growing up. You’re right in saying what a joy to be with children and seeing them mature. It’s a blessing to be part of all this. Thanks for hosting us!

  3. Thanks for sharing the fun with the youngsters. I looked and felt younger when I shaved this morning after reading your blog. Well, I lied on the “look” comment but did feel younger.

    I thought about the fun things I did as a kid back in Missouri which created many smiles on my walk this morning.

    Thanks for the memories.

  4. THank you, Neil, for hosting my rambunctious group of 4 children and 2 nieces! They love you, your beautiful home, and the wonderful memories you help them build. know their experiences at your floating home will be important childhood memories for each of them. As always, you were incredibly gracious and hospitable. THank you for being a positive influence in my children’s lives.

  5. Lovely post Neil

    I try to remind the kiddos how lucky they are to visit you and to have you as their “Uncle”.

    Hopefully they internalize it 🙂

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