Family Outing

One of the many reasons I love our neighborhood is that it feels like a cocoon when you enter it. Tall, mature elms and Oaks block out the heavy traffic nearby, lavender, green lawns and large lots provide trappings of privacy yet there is a distinct feeling of neighborhood. Within this wooded and private retreat, we are lucky enough to have friends and family who live nearby. Best of all, the twins have two boy second cousins, one the same age as them, and they love to have rowdy light saber and robot battles. My daughter bosses them all around.

My favorite occasions are when one of the families hosts a dinner and instead of having to say no, we don’t have any babysitters, we are told to bring the kids along. Best of all, we walk a brisk 10 minute wooded trail to reach the cousins.

The children play together and tend to work out their own battles (mostly) while the adults adjourn to the outside table, overlooking the lawn and play area. It’s comfortable, we hold witty banter and just enjoy the company.

Tonight’s Menu: Smoked brisket, potatoes lyonnaise, broccoli and a homemade chocolate cake in preparation for Darcy’s birthday (in a few weeks).

After a spirited and disturbing discussion of “Deliverance” (which I have never seen) we retired home, pushing the stroller within our safe confines, with me pushing the Citi-Mini a bit faster than necessary because of the chill that had settled in quite suddenly.

We changed and tucked our little ones into bed.

I never had cousins who lived nearby and I feel privileged to be able to provide my children with this experience. The twins and their younger cousin are almost like triplets because with such close birthdays, they will enter their kindergarten class together. This makes me very happy.

He also makes me very happy.

Are you close to extended family? Do you like to interact with them?

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11 Comments

Filed under Family, Parenting After IF

11 responses to “Family Outing

  1. My extended family is far away, in St. Louis but I feel really close to them because I spent entire summers living with them as a child, when my family was in Hong Kong. Now that we are older we have drifted apart and it’s hard for me. It’s also hard for me to realize my daughter will likely not have “real” cousins, or if she does, they will be much younger than her. I love extended family and wish I could enjoy my own more and that my daughter could have cousins some day. Right now I just revel in all the grandparent time she gets. That is very special.

  2. Aw, what a great day! And how adorable are they?! Getting so big. We love where we live and the *only* thing that makes us consider moving is that we have no family here. We often talk about moving near my brother and sister in law so that our girls can have cousins nearby. It’s such a special and rare thing to have that bond these days with families living so spread apart.

  3. I love that you’re sharing more pictures lately! We don’t have family close, but we have some good bloggy friends with kids around the same age which is fun.

  4. This is the kind of post that makes me sigh with contentment. 🙂

    My sister and her family live about 40 minutes away. Before I moved in the spring, they were just 25 minutes away – that extra 15 minutes seems like an eternity. We do make sure we get together every few weeks, and now that my son is getting a little older, he’s loving interacting with his two older cousins. Makes me want to move closer to them when we move next time.

  5. That sounds like the perfect evening and is what we are missing most since we live so far from family. My mom has four sisters and they have always lived relatively close to each other. My cousins have always felt more like siblings and it makes me sad that my daughters are lucky to see their cousins once a year. So lovely what you are providing for your children.

  6. Yes and no. Closer on my mums side but I do know that I could call on them anytime I wanted. My cousins are all a fair bit older than me so they still see me, even at 34 as the baby!!

  7. Oh, it makes me so happy to see you and your family. And the happiness on your faced from being together.

    Yup, I see extended family a lot. And yup, I love interacting with ’em.

  8. It’s funny you should ask this right now. Until just last year, my closest relative, geography-wise, was probably my mother’s cousin in Michigan, a good day’s drive away. Most of my extended family, on both sides, is back west. But about two years ago, one of my cousins moved to the city here, and last year, they moved to a suburb about a 15 minute drive from here — his wife is from another town nearby, & has lots of family & friends in the area. They have a little girl who is 5 & a baby boy born in July — AND his mom (my dad’s sister), & my dad’s other sister — my two aunties — are visiting right now. They are all coming over tomorrow night for coffee. It’s kind of surreal for me to think about, after not having any family anywhere nearby for so many years. We haven’t seen a lot of each other, but they are obviously busy, and I am 14 years older than he is. Still, he is a really nice guy, and it’s nice to FINALLY have family so close by!

    We moved around a lot while I was growing up — when I was a teenager, we finally moved to a town that was about about 1.5 hours from both my grandparents and about an hour from several aunts/uncles/cousins. That was about as close as it got. I am fond of my extended family (well, most of them anyway, lol) & I do enjoy getting together with them — & appreciate it more & more the older I get — although I wouldnt’ say I am really close to any of my cousins.

    Dh, on the other hand, almost always had relatives living with his family while he was growing up, and even when they finally moved out, they all lived within a mile or two of each other and were constantly in each other’s company. We spent a lot of time socializing with his cousins when we were first married, but as everyone got older & started their own families, they’ve spread out across the Greater Toronto Area, so we don’t see them too often any more.

    As I’ve mentioned in my blog, one of dh’s cousins lives only about two blocks away from us. We were quite close to them when we first moved here, 20 years ago, babysat their kids, etc. But something changed in the years after we lost Katie — not exactly sure why — and now we generally see them at the same weddings & funerals, etc., where we see everone else. It’s sad. 😦

    Your kids are lucky! (And cute!) ; )

  9. my closest family is 2 hours away by plane – or 10 hours of driving; to see the rest of the family, I need to cross the Atlantic, which is a very sad, sad situation 😦
    In my childhood, all my cousins were much older. My sister is 7 years older, and my cousins are even older than her, so I never had anything in common with him and I hated family gatherings because I was so bored.
    And it looks like Timothy won’t have family gatherings at all… Our circle of friends will have to be his “aunts” and “uncles” and so on. Sigh.

  10. I love this post, it’s very Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post in my head. 🙂

  11. Such a fantastic way to spend some time – I think it’s wonderful you have the opportunity to share with extended family. Growing up, some of my best memories are spending time with all of my cousins. My sister and I try to continue that tradition with our kids and once in a long while even have the opportunity to bring all our families together with our cousins who now live much further away. Family time is precious!

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