Monday, November 15, 2004

Family Love (Sorry, Even More Disjointed Than Usual)

I love my family!

Not exactly the stuff of which juicy blogs are made, I admit, but there you go.

My sister's visit was everything I'd hoped it would be. I was so eager to see her and my niece and nephew and for them to get to know my kids better. The last time Beth saw them, Sean was just learning to talk and Allie was still in the throes of colic.

Now Sean prattles ceaselessly (I say this admiringly) about his every move, and Allie has shed her crankiness. And this weekend, they pulled out every cute trick in their collective book.

[A sort-of-unrelated but somewhat relevant aside: To the casual observer of this here blog, it might appear that my children are nothing but a source of consternation and anxiety. (I think part of my tendency to write about the more exasperating aspects of motherhood stems from a desire to avoid the sort of gushing prose that sinks immediately into cliché. I'm not skilled enough a writer to navigate that territory without sounding like a Hallmark card.) That's really not the case, though. Most of the time my children delight and amaze me, fill my soul with such profound joy and happiness that I don't even know how to articulate it.]

This weekend, everything clicked. Sean and Allie were insanely adorable, and Emily and Jeremy were thrilled to play with their little cousins. We all spent some dedicated time with Emily and Jeremy, and Beth and I marveled at having a solid three days to catch up on a year's worth of events. Well, maybe not exactly solid, what with the intervening chaos of four kids under one roof, but the whole was definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

Over the years, my mom, my sister Kathie, and I have all gotten used to Beth's living far away, but now that I have children the distance seems more painful. Saying goodbye on Sunday was particularly difficult. I wish they lived closer to us so that we could all share our lives, and our children's lives, more directly than we can now. At a minimum, I'm hoping to corral the kids for a trip north sometime during the spring. Perhaps by then Allie will acquiesce to sitting in her carseat for more than 20 minutes at a time.