A good chunk of my aunts and uncles and cousins lived nearby as well so seeing them at least once a week was not out of the norm.
When we were sick, my grandma Dean would watch us. We had a weekly dinner at my Grams and Papps's house (and watched a lot of "Hee Haw" and "Lawrence Welk" where my brother and I would dance to the LW band in front of the TV in the basement).
|Me and my Grams!|
|Stopped to see Grams and Papps before my senior prom -- I don't know where my grin comes from. :)|
I can still hear my Grandpa Bob's voice, calling for my mom. "Mary Annie!"
I bring this all up to serve as a reminder to myself (and to my brother and sister as well) of how incredibly lucky I was (we were) to have known my grandparents when I did and to have lived my childhood with them down the street.
|My grandma Dean, grandpa Bob, mom and me at my First Communion|
My Papps LOVED for us to be around. He had a stroke before I was born, so I never knew him before and there most of the time there was a good chance I didn't know WHAT he was talking about (the adults did) but knew his phrases. He was very consistent.
"So damn proud of you!"
"Love you soooooo much!" Followed by the hardest half bear hug (one arm was in a sling) you can imagine.
|Me and my Papps|
It was her song.
And as I was singing it to Tess last night, I knew my Grams was right there with me, smiling as we sang. I can only imagine how much she would have loved all of these babies and how entertained she and Papps would be by Sloane and Reece!
My family spends a lot of time traveling to see my parents and siblings and Matt's parents and his brother.
As you can see, I grew up surrounded by family. They were a large part of my life so I do not know any differently. And right now, we live close enough that we can get to everyone. So we do it.
Does traveling get old? Yes.
But will I keep doing it? Yes. Because I want my kids to be around family. I want them to always be excited to see their grandparents and aunts and uncles. I want them to be with and play with their cousins. I want them to know that we are their parents, but these people will be in their lives and love them forever.
I grew up with wonderful people and I do not take that time I had with them for granted. And maybe I hope that in 30 years, my kids are able to sit around the dining room table together and laugh and cry about all of the wonderful stories they have from their childhood with their family!
Because there is nothing better for the soul than a good, hard laugh and cry about wonderful memories.