Friday, September 12, 2014

Family Bonds

Do you ever stop to wonder what memories your children are going to take away from childhood?  I think about this a lot.  I had a good if not great childhood.  I have so many fond memories of family vacations in northern Michigan. The coldness of lake Michigan and the warmth of the Platte River, ice cream at the store near the Platte, canoeing, and all the movies with my cousins on Drummond Island (yeah Sammie I remember how we watched Sweet Home Alabama at least a dozen times.)   Holidays with the extended family (shout out to my crazy Aunt Cheryl and her turkey dance.)  Figure skating shows, plays, soccer matches of my sisters.  

I hail from a very close family where all the accomplishments were celebrated.  I remember figure skating shows where every single aunt and uncle and cousin would come.  I was given flowers and I felt so darn special.  Or my play when I was 16 that my entire extended family who were visiting from Michigan came to see.  I had a total of about five lines.  The guns, the dueling pistols.  But yet they came and applauded and told me what a great job I had done even if they were probably bored to death.  I again felt so darn special. 

Bellies and cousins
And my family is turning out to be like this as well.  My younger sister and I were pregnant at the same time for 11 weeks with Owl.  I would almost have a third to get to do this again as it has been fun.  We took pictures of big cousin and little cousin bellies.  We both had boys and they are only 6.5 months apart.  Already they love smiling and talking to each other.  Destructo is a doting big brother and cousin.   You know when he isn't sitting on them or something.  I imagine any future cousins from either of my sisters will also be just as close as these there peas in a pod are.  
Dressing the cousins like twins

I hope that these boys (and girls if there are ever any of those) have all the wonderful memories I have.  I hope that they are as close as brothers and well at this point brothers.  I want them to get together once or twice a year even as grown adults and have fun, laugh, celebrate all of life's ups, and be there to support each other through the downs.

Fun times growing up 
I wouldn't be the person I am without my cousin's and extended family.  I hope the same is true of my boys.  Just today I talked to my grandma (twice), my aunt Cheryl, and would have talked to my other aunt Maria if Owl hadn't been having a massive breakdown at the time.  How cool is it that we are all so close still even though I am grown and have kiddos of my own?  I couldn't ask for better family.  The wisdom I glean from these mothers and fathers aunts and uncles who have been there before me is immeasurable.  They are a part of the village that is so lacking in modern day parenting.  (See this post that I wrote on this topic.)

I hope that when my kiddos think back on their childhood they see summer evenings spent at the cabin catching fire flies and tubing down a river (while momma lets daddy canoe her down the river since she hates tubing.)  I hope that they think of the Christmas memories:  playing in a giant cardboard box because that is so fun, eating too much junk food and running wild, and watching the skies for a glimpse of Santa clause together.  Easter egg hunts and ring around the rosie.  

I hope that they want to attend their cousins soccer games (yes Lee Lee this means you have to learn to walk at some point in the next year.)  I hope they can have mud fights on vacation and taunt each other and tease each other and get so nauseous only ice cream can help it.  I hope that sleepovers are lacking in sleep and bursting with laughter.  I hope that they have each other to help through the difficult times in life.  And one day when the time comes for me to return to my maker in heaven, I hope that my sisters kids can be there for my children to comfort them and reminisce about me being the crazy aunt.  Because I am pretty sure I will be the turkey dancer in our family.  And you know what?  I will gladly except that legacy.  I think I can rock it.  

The turkey dancer herself
Oh and Danielle I know you are watching out for my kiddos from heaven and I thank you for this every day.  Keep up the good work.  If you have a little sleeping through the night magic to sprinkle on Owl, feel free.  I mean a good nights sleep would be welcome.  And don't worry your honey badger legacy lives on in my small son.  I thought of you today because a butterfly actually landed on my arm.  You are forever loved and missed by all of us cousins.