As I write this, I hear my son escalating his voice on the back porch, but it is with my wife’s father, not me or my wife. He usually visits once a month, and while here, he takes both or one kid at a time. This is a great buffer for us to get a bit of time away from the day-to-day grind of parenting. Someone else has to take the question repeats and difficult tone of voice. Luckily, he doesn’t have it all the time, so he is much more tolerant. As I am also recovering from a cold, it is even more welcome.
Category Archives: family
My daughter took the lead in having us all share what we did during the day. The setting was bath time, and she told me and my son that we would all share something good about the day. It is fun to hear the positive things I try to model parroted back. Goodness knows, I hear my mistakes reflected back all too often. It was lovely, as the kids played in the water, for us each to share a few things that we enjoyed about the day.
As happens fairly often, my wife’s brother and his wife were in town for the weekend. They stopped by on both Saturday and Sunday, and the kids had a blast with their uncle who will give them foot rides, share his intriguing watch, and much more. The kids’ aunt spent some quality time with my daughter who is always ready for one-on-one attention. My daughter suggested cleaning the playroom, and her aunt gamely agreed to help with the task.
It is great to have family visit and to have the kids build their relationships with uncles, aunts, grandparents, and cousins. Soon we will be heading to my home to give the kids and my dad and mom get a chance to have time together.
My sister’s family’s visit is coming to an end. She will take them out to the nearby Cape Cod to stay in a house with some friends and their families. It has been a wonderful, tiring, fulfilling, exhausting experience. Their days here are coming to and end, and it certainly is not the End of Days, but it is hard to imagine after only a few days how life will settle back to a normal routine. We will shrink from nine to four people in the house, we will hopefully have somewhat regular sleep and nap schedules, and a level of sanity may prevail at least for short bursts. However, the time the cousins had together is priceless. They played, argued, and got to know each other. It was also to see my sister and her husband.
On Wednesday my sister, her husband, and their three daughters started their stay with us. That brings the total number of people in the house up to nine, and two of them are one year-old twins. It will be a wonderful time to share and play together. There are also times, especially around bed and nap times, where the closeness will be very noticed, as well.
What a wonderful opportunity to hang out together. We are a full house.
This week is unusual. I am heading to work in the morning, my kids aren’t leaving their room until I have gone downstairs to get ready, and I am returning only to be part of the dinner, bath, and bed routine. This is the plan for Monday through Thursday, and it is weird. Next school year, it will be the norm.
That brings up all kinds of thoughts and feelings.
For the last week or so, my mother has been staying with us. Her visits, spaced a few times a year, bring such a sense of relief. Aside from the monumental amounts of cooking, dishes and other chores she lifts from our shoulders for a short span (and I don’t discount the restorative powers of not having to do those things), she is amazing with the children. They love her, and they flourish in her presence. Every time she visits, I learn more about parenting.
This visit, she overlapped with the monthly visit from my father-in-law. He will be staying with us for an additional day after my mother leaves. My father-in-law has committed to and sustained this monthly trip from Philadelphia to Boston for the years now that we have had children, and this too is a gift. He has supported our family in many ways, but to me the most precious is the time he gives to my children. My kids will know and remember their Saba and their Grandma.
Wednesday night, my daughter’s birthday, was not planned to be a party, but when her grandfather, aunt, uncle, and cousin showed up to join us and my mother, a dinner celebration ensued. There was french toast, not an uncommon dinner food at our house, pasta, people, and a bit of chocolate cake. We will have our bigger get together with my daughter’s school friends this weekend at the local park if it is nice out. I really hope it is nice out! But it was very sweet to have family together. We gave her the doll house and bike as well as a jacket from the uncle and aunt. Before bedtime, the kids played with the doll house. They have dolls and a bedroom set from before, and now they have a bathroom set. The essentials are covered.
Thursday was great. The day started with my son getting up early and me taking him downstairs where grandma took over. I went back to bed. What a luxury! After finally getting up and running around 8:00, I called around and found that the local nursery had a reasonable price on blueberry bushes. I got the garden cart out, and my kids and I pushed it to the garden center while my mom took pictures and accompanied us. We bought some blueberry bushes and supplies. After getting home, eating lunch, and taking naps, my daughter and I worked on planting the blueberry bushes. My son and mom joined us when they woke up, and we all planted some wildflower and sunflower seeds. It was a glorious day outside.
Thursday has come and gone. Thanksgiving was as it should be. There was no turkey, no stuffing, no cranberry sauce, no traditional celebratory foods at all. There were no speeches, no hearkening to the meaning of Thanksgiving. And it would have been fine if all of those thing did happen, but they don’t make the day special to me. There was family, my wife’s family. They were in and out of the house throughout the day. My kids were delighted to see their uncles, aunts, cousin, and grandfather. Their joy was better than any aroma I could have coaxed from the kitchen.