My mom and dad are older. They had me when they were in their 40s. I have always thought growing up with older parents, aunts, and uncles was rather interesting. My parents aren't Baby Boomers, they were born in the later years of the Great Depression. My dad saw his grandfather lose his store. They lived through sugar rations and World War II. There's a depth of understanding and wisdom from their life experience that amazes me at times.
On New Year's Day, my mom, sister, and niece returned with me to my home so that we could watch a women's basketball game at my school. My mom is a huge Tennessee/Pat Summitt fan and I was able to get some great seats for a game. We had such a fabulous time. We laughed, ate great food, enjoyed a great game, and truly rested in the security of our relationships. I know that may sound really cheesy - but it's the sweetest times with your family when there's no undertone of tension or strife, when you're completely free to rest in who you are and who they are.
My dad is staying with me this week. I love that he is here with me. We have not said much to each other today because I've been working on a beastly paper. But there is such comfort in having him close. I've had the pleasure of hearing the pro football playoff games and other sporting events throughout the day. Nothing takes me back to childhood and times with my dad like the background noise of sports. It always makes me smile. We'll play chess later in the week when I've got this paper behind me. He is wicked good.
My sister will come down on her spring break in a few months. That will be a precious week too. She'll cook all sorts of fabulous things and make my life so much more pleasant while she's here. We'll laugh at goofy things I say (she's right, my brain shuts off away from campus) and we'll watch our favorite shows after dinner. We'll talk excitedly about the family beach trip coming up in May and imagine ourselves relaxing in the sun. After my niece was born she revived the annual family beach trip to Topsail Island, NC. Oh my - I'm so glad she did. And she is literally the most thoughtful person I know. Most of my favorite gifts are from her.
And then there's my precious niece. She deserves an entire post all to herself. For now I will tell you that she should have her own variety show. She could give a monologue that would rival Leno, carry on an adult conversation with any guest, do a craft with Martha Stewart (or lead the audience through her own), and then educate us on a host of wild animal guests. She is absolutely the dearest child I know and I cannot get enough of her.
So here's to family. I hope you rediscover your own families this year and soak up every single minute you get with them. May you carry all the good memories close to your heart, forgive all the bad ones and put them away, and live expecting them to surprise you in the sweetest ways.