Some kids take to having their parents leave them with a grandparent or aunt while they go out of town better than other kids do, and I suppose that as an only child, my grand nephew, James Renville felt that he shouldn’t be left out of anything, and for the most part he wasn’t. One advantage to being an only child is that you have the full attention of your parents most of the time. When James was five years old, his parents, my niece Toni Chase, and her husband at the time, Jim Renville, decided to go to Las Vegas for the weekend. They left James with my sister, Cheryl Masterson, who is his grandmother, and headed out for a nice weekend.
Now, I can tell you that James had a wonderful time, because when his parents came back, he was in the back yard playing cops and robbers with his cousins, Garrett Stevens and Jake Harman. When Jim said his name, he turned and pretended to shoot his dad. Then, he ran and hid under the picnic table. When his dad picked him up, he said, “Take me to Steve’s…he’s my daddy now!” Steve Spethman, being his uncle had apparently now become the guy he wanted to replace his dad when he was mad at him. Of course, he would never shoot his dad, and he didn’t want a new daddy, but he had been feeling a little bit abandonded, and so was a little mad at his parents. After about an hour, he forgave them, and that horrendous, but in reality kind of fun, first weekend away from his parents was over. James stayed with his grandmother other times, and had no issues with it, so apparently he wasn’t traumatized too much.
He wasn’t traumatized on that issue anyway. One day, when James was in preschool, his mother, my niece, Toni Chase was getting him ready to go to school, and he was throwing a fit because she was dressing him in a pair of adorable green bib overalls, and a Bob the Builder t-shirt. Toni thought they were adorable. James was fighting her every step of the way. Finally in frustration she asked him why he didn’t want to wear them. His answer was, “Cuz, I’m too cool!!” Aparently Bob the Builder simply wasn’t cool at all, so that would traumatize him.
For some reason, while most parents threaten their children with the other parent when they are acting out, Toni and Jim used to threaten James with his Aunt Chantel Balcerzak, who is Toni’s sister. Now personally, I can’t see that as a threat, because, Chantel is a real softy, but that is what they did. When I talked to Chantel about all this, she told me that she simply doesn’t know how James turned out to be so sweet, but he did. And anyone who knows him would have to agree. James is a real sweetie. Today is James’ birthday. Happy birthday James!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When my sister-in-law was a little girl, her favorite outfits were pretty dresses. She, like many little girls, loved feeling beautiful. Wearing dresses is something that has a way of making many women feel beautiful, so why should a little girl be different. Marlyce lived out in the country with her family, so there weren’t many times when she got to wear a dress. So when the days arrived that a dress was needed, Marlyce was very happy about it.
Once she was dressed for the day, Marlyce pranced aroud the place showing everyone how pretty she looked.
Wearing a dress doesn’t have much place in the country. Too much dirt and when playing outside, even girly girls get plenty dirty, so many mothers choose to put their little girls in bib overalls or slacks to keep them a little cleaner.
But, how so the little girls feel. Well, most of the time, wearing slacks or bibs, is ok by them, because they are out there playing in a rough and tumble way, or as was the case with the children in my in-law’s family, riding horses whenever they could. That said, pants were a lot easier to wear to do the things they wanted to do.
But, Marlyce was a little girl who liked to do things a little bit different. She did like to ride the horses and play outside, but only part of the time. The rest of the time, she wanted to wear pretty dresses. She wanted to dance around, and tip toe around so everyone could see her pretty shoes. Marlyce was a sweet little girl, who turned into the sweet sister-in-law that I gained when I married Bob, and lost when cancer took her life at the age of 39 years.
I wish I could have known the sweet little girl she was, but since she was born 6 years before me, that was impossible. So all I can do is look at the pictures of the little girl she was, and compare it to the girl she was when I knew her, to know the story of her life. People didn’t come sweeter than Marlyce. Although developmentally disabled, she knew more about kindness that many people who weren’t developmentally disabled, and who lived long lives. And while wearing a dress allowed Marlyce to feel pretty, I know that it didn’t matter what she had on…Marlyce was always pretty.