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Baby Arlo and My Blind Uncle Bob

My first (and favorite) nephew turned 1 today!  I can’t believe how fast time flies.  I sent my brother & sister-in-law some khaki overalls that have pineapples on them with a matching hat.  He will look like a tiny island man.  I’m sure they’re thrilled to have them because you can never have enough khaki. He is the most special little boy who continues to grow more quickly than I would like (I’m sure his parents – and all parents – feel this way).

Growing up, we would visit my dad’s hometown of Excelsior Springs, MO weekly. His parents lived on a golf course and they would host lunches or dinners at their house or the local country club.  The town of Excelsior is fairly dilapidated, but has the highlight of the Elms Hotel.  It’s one of the most beautiful building, outside and in – if you are ever looking for a fairly close getaway with friends, loved ones, etc., I would highly suggest it. Their spa has been recently remodeled and I believe is really neat!

As we made our way into Excelsior, we would always go by a large apartment building to retrieve my blind Uncle Bob.  I don’t know why he deserves the qualifier of “blind,” except because that’s what I’ve always called him.  I remember being so perplexed about him living alone when I was younger and having an intense amount of questions.  He harbored a lot of anger – whether it was from the eyesight loss or something else, I’m unsure.  Because of this anger, he was fairly insufferable to most people.

My parents were able to recognize my strengths from a young age and would always have me sit with him at family gatherings.  I would ask him an incessant amount of questions and would engage him (more than anyone ever wants to be engaged). I remember being both annoyed that I couldn’t quite understand his anger and intrigued by his lack of give a fuck. **Obviously, I don’t think I would have quantified it as “give a fuck” when I was 1-10, but who knows?**

Anyway, I think that he was my first foray into trying to understand why people are the way they are.  Nature, nurture, whatever. I think being able to figure out why people act the way they do is extremely interesting and engaging them will lead to understanding, or at the very least, empathy.

I ❤ empathy (easiest way to indicate I’m not a sociopath).

Cheers & love.

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