Visiting family

We’ve been in my hometown visiting my parents as well as my brother and his family, who are also visiting. The highlight for me is watching the cousins playing together. They have a relationship which is a bit like a combination between friendship and sibling, and enjoy each other enormously. This afternoon we took them to a pool. I spent quite a while playing with Joanna on the steps; she’d come down two or three and then launch herself to me, with more enthusiasm and pizzazz as time went by and she got more comfortable. I love her big delighted smile, and the times like that when we can be totally focused on each other. Those times are so rare. But this afternoon Hazel had her cousins to swim with, Ted had Emily, and I was free to take Joanna into the river current in the pool, to the steps, to walk around in the shallow end, to hold her in my arms and enjoy her. It was such a treat.

I want to make that happen more often, for Emily and Joanna and Hazel, as well as with my niece. One-on-one time is so important for bonding and for deepening relationships.

This morning we had my brother’s kids over at the hotel for breakfast with our family. The five together were so incredibly well-behaved. I dashed back and forth ferrying waffles, and they had fruit and eggs as well. After breakfast there were puzzles to play with, hide and seek to play, and general hilarity. When my brother and sister-in-law came back to the hotel, we wound up watching a “Sesame Street” Martian skits, to great enjoyment.

This afternoon while the twins were down for their nap, I took Hazel to see my friend D, who was also my American History teacher my Junior year in high school. We have reconnected, through the auspices of Facebook. She read a book to Hazel, and we had a good conversation about family, change, communication, and hot topics.

After our trip to the pool we decided to get White Castle burgers. Probably an error in judgment, at least in degree. Ted and I ate too much and my tummy is unhappy with me. Though now I’m actually looking forward to January’s Round Two of the Whole30 month of no grains and no sugar, so that’s good. Silver lining, right?

It only took five tries to get Joanna down tonight, so Ted and I have a chance at a good night’s sleep. Woo Hoo!

More adventuring tomorrow.

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