Happy Birthday, Daddy & Matt!

I spent most of today with my family at my parents’ house. It was a wonderful visit!

I got to meet my youngest nephew, Eli, for the first time. I was ill every time my brother and his brood came to town after his birth last fall (turned out I had pneumonia—I really should learn to go to the doctor instead of trying to ignore such things). He’ll be a year old next month, and he’s such a doll! He looks a lot like Matt did as a baby, but even more like his older brother, Jack. He’s sweetly ticklish even though he is teething a bit, and I got to nibble on his toes! (He gnawed on my hand a bit too, so it all evened out.) He has a very strong grip and is at the “grab everything” stage, but I anticipated that and didn’t bother wearing earrings. I’m glad that I got my hair cut short again this week, as it left far less hair for him to pull at.

Seeing Jack next to my sister’s boy, Will, though, is a trip—they look more like brothers than cousins! Jack’s twin, Sadie, is beautiful. She reminds me of Katie at that age in some ways, but she’s very much her own person, with very strong opinions. Matt and his wife have lovely, well-behaved children. And just in the last year, Will has gone from looking like a little boy to, well, not! And he’s only 7 years old! Although he says, “I’m seven now, you know,” with a gravitas that makes it sound as if he’ll be joining the military any day now. He definitely lives life at one speed, and that is full ahead!

Mom and Dad cooked way too much food for breakfast—SOS, biscuits, eggs, lots of fruit, sausage, bacon, hash browns, and I can’t even remember what else. Later on, we had cakes and ice cream, of course (yogurt for those of us who don’t do ice cream so much). I wimped out and tried both cakes, but I was daring enough to have a small slice of one. Then Mom told us that Daddy had been cooking all day Saturday, using the smoker! I rode up there with Katie and her boyfriend, who had plans for later today, so we left before anyone else did. I don’t think I could possibly have eaten another bite, but I hope the others stayed for another meal. I know the food certainly smelled good.

Even though the kitchen and dining room tables are huge, we filled both of them. Unlike the holiday meals of my youth, we didn’t separate into adult and children’s tables. Per Will’s wishes, we had the “men’s” and “women’s” tables for breakfast, but ended up all mixed for cake and ice cream (he was so disappointed). From that, I figured him to be at the “girls have cooties” stage, but apparently, boys and girls don’t necessarily go through such a stage anymore. Who knew?

I took an iPad because I was asked to review an app and needed help from children. I had absolutely no idea just how popular it would be! We could have kept several more iPads busy. On second thought, if there had been several more available, it might not have been as fun. After the boys discovered the camera function, there was a lot of silliness. I was glad the gadget has a case, but for further family occasions, I think it needs one that’s more child-grippable. Maybe something rubberized? In any case, the device is even more fun with kids. I feel much younger now as a result. We played silly games, colored, took pictures, and played more silly games. I should have loaded up some Trout Fishing in America and other good music. I will certainly do so for future occasions!

I gave the twins their copy of Clean Water for Eli Rose by Ariah Fine, and they must have liked it. They each had each of their parents, Mom, and me read it to them at least once that I know of in less than an hour. They may have also gotten Katie and my sister to read it to them, as well. It looks as though it’s going to be in heavy storytime rotation for a while. I could see some wheels turning for Sadie, so I’m hoping she’ll get more than just a story out of it. If she asks questions, Jack will definitely follow.

It was the best family day I can remember ever having. I’m getting the photos off my phone and the iPad. I hope they came out well, but whether they did or not, we’ll have the memories.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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