I’ll be a monkey’s uncle

I barely remember if I said that first, and Kevin started acting like a monkey, or if he was acting like a monkey and I said that. It was so long ago. Kevin must have been 3 or 4, which would make me 9 or 10 (exactly, because he was born on my birthday). I remember it was warm, and we were in the front yard of Kevin’s parents’ house (apartment?) and I remember everyone laughing when I said, out of frustration and not a small amount of smart-assed-ness, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.”

That launched him into a joyful kid’s spasm of eek-ing and cavorting and swinging his arms and miming the eating-of-bananas that anyone would recognize as being a monkey, deflecting my grumpy complaint and turning it into a game.

That’s my earliest memory of Kevin, my nephew, friend, and basically-my-brother. And if he’s reading this (hi, Kevin!), I’m thinking about him pretty much all day.