Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Until this recent visit, the last time my mother-in-law and brother-in-law had been here to visit us was three years ago. I'm going to be honest and say, it was a difficult visit. It was timed such that several days after they arrived in California, I went back to work from maternity leave. It was the end of August and disgustingly hot, with raging wildfires making the outdoors even more unbearable. We lived in a smallish house, made even smaller with two extra people. Brighton was still extremely fussy, and I've written about how my own mental state was at that time.

When you have family that live really far away (like England), the visits take on such a measure of importance that it's hard not to feel pressure to make it perfect. I felt very discouraged after that last visit three years ago, and I've always felt sad that my kids just won't have the same experience growing up with their extended family that I did.

I was feeling a little nervous about my in-laws descending, therefore. I knew in some ways it would automatically be easier: we have a much bigger house, I'm not working and therefore had the time to plan and execute fun activities, and of course the kids are three years older. I could never have predicted how MUCH better it would be though. From the get-go, Pacey and Brighton seemed comfortable with their grandma (Oma) and uncle, in a way that you really only are with family. I doubt that Pacey remembered them from the last visit, and Brighton certainly didn't, but it didn't seem to matter.

The kids' uncle is 6'5" and truly a gentle giant. They adore him.

A rare sighting of me with the family at
the county fair

Ever since both kids were babies they've fallen asleep
on Rob. I have almost identical pictures of them sleeping
on his chest as infants. Here, we were literally two minutes
from the dock and she crawled into his lap and conked
out cold. 

Snuggle time with Oma. 

The kids' grandma was a seriously good sport about
the impromptu sand castle building session

The kids were thrilled to celebrate Oma's birthday while she was here
We had such a nice time. We packed a lot of activities into two weeks, and the kids just loved having the extra bodies (and attention) around. Since they left, the kids ask every day where their Oma and Uncle Rob are and have asked multiple times to look at the pictures we took. I feel much more confident now that, firstly, there won't be such a big gap between this and the next visit, and also that the kids will remember their family and get something out of phone calls, skype etc. I still wish that we lived closer to ALL of our relatives, but I'm grateful that the kids are old enough now to cultivate relationships regardless.

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

Fantastic photos of what looks an awesome time - rock on Oma building sandcastles and what a brilliant gentle giant of an uncle - Superb - Love to all x K, J and C x