I am sorry I have been remiss in getting out a new post, but I was busy getting ready for our annual visit with the Yankee branch of the family. They arrived on the 17th, after that grueling ride down I – 95 from New Jersey to North Carolina. We had three fun days of catching up with each other, shopping and conversation, and before we knew it, the last day had arrived and we were heading for our “last night of the visit ritual” – a treat at Goodberry’s to top off our family gathering. This year we were missing two members of the clan – they were off visiting with the ancient Incas at Macchu Picchu in Peru, but we know they were there in spirit.
Then today most of the family left early to get the ride home started, but my nephew stayed a bit longer as he was flying to Chicago later in the day. We were in the middle of a great conversation, when my son arrived to whisk him off to the airport. Hated to see him go.
The house grew very quiet for a few moments. Then my grandkids arrived, and after a lunch trip to Chili’s, stayed with me while their mom ran errands. I know every grandparent believes their grandkids are the cutest in the world, and I’m no exception. They are the most precious gift of reaching old age. Check them out in their new duds. (Note to Aunt Pat – they loved the clothes you bought them and they had to try them on as well (see Evelyn). The dragon and the polka dots were big hits!)
On one of our shopping forays I found Sponge Bob Square Pants Pillow patterns and sewed them up this morning. They loved them as you can see.
We try to make a few trips up north each year to visit my husband’s side of the family. Mine has migrated south so my mom, sister and brother are not too far away. As we age the need to spend more time with each other grows more important as time continues to tick away,and we know it is not limitless.
My grandchildren are especially lucky to have my mom and my husband’s dad (their great grandparents) in their lives. My mom can see them a bit more often, but my husband’s dad sees them only once a year, and It’s hard for the little ones to remember who they are. But my father-in-law played it cool and didn’t come on too strong. Before long my grandson began to warm up to him.
We went out to dinner with them, and afterwards my granddaughter, who is 5, gave everyone hugs, but my grandson buried his face in his mother’s arms. However, right before they were to leave he told his mother he’d give someone a hug. She asked him who he wanted to hug. He turned his head, looked at my father-in-law, extended his hand and pointed at him and said, “That one!” And so he gave his great-grandfather a hug.
That little boy will never know how much that simple hug meant to his great-grandfather. And that really is, when you come down to it, what family is all about. Strip away the occasional differences of opinion, the sibling rivalries of our youth and forget the struggles of those teenage years, the difficulties faced as we had to pull away from our parents and come into our own, and what you have left is love, expressed in the arms of a small child giving his great-grandfather a hug. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.