This little boy has made me very happy this past weekend, as has the rest of my family. I absolutely adore him, even if he has caused me to be up for more hours in the day that I’m used to; even if I am now suffering from very very sore legs and lower back pain from jumping around and doing squats while carrying him just to hear that tinkle of laughter. I am forever thankful for this weekend and for having the family that I have.
I write this post from my cousin’s home in northern California. We’re here for my cousin’s baby’s baptism and first birthday party. I remember the last time we were here, almost one exact year ago. It was shortly after having her first child. A lot of things are similar from then, it just took a stain on the tabletop to remind me of that. I mentioned on the first challenge post that I’m originally from Texas. The same goes for my cousin. She’s been living in northern California for a few years now after getting married to her truly awesome and wonderful husband (whom she met online–see, it can work!). As such, she doesn’t get to see her family (immediate and extended) for months at a time. That is why, on occasions such as this, we don’t think twice about coming over and visiting her little family. I remember last year my godparents (her parents) came over along with my cousin’s sister, her husband, and their two children. It was truly an amazing time. We hadn’t seen my godparents and my other cousin’s family since Christmas. Maybe it doesn’t seem so much to some of you, but I grew up in an environment where we knew we’d see at least half of my aunts, uncles, and cousins if not each day, then at least every other day. I grew up incredibly close to all my family. That’s something I’ll forever be thankful for. I know that not everyone is as fortunate, and not everyone sees family as such an important aspect of life–both extended and immediate. It’s kind of sad, really. In this particular weekend last year, we got to almost repeat what our life had been like in Texas. Everyone was together, we’d trade off children and chat about family issues, we had our big official family meals both at home and whenever we went out. There was an evening where there was a soccer game everyone sat for (futbol/football for the rest of the world). The husbands of each sister were rooting for an opposing team. They had bought the three munchkins jerseys (or onesies for the baby) for their respective teams and teaching them to say ‘Touchdown!.’ It was seriously one of the cutest things I had ever seen. That day we had bought about…7 boxes of pizza or so. They were greasy on the bottom and hot. It wasn’t until maybe an hour or so after they’d been sitting there that one of us remembered that the pizza boxes should not be on the bare table. We picked them up and saw we were too late; the grease and heat had made its mark on the table. Permanently. So when I saw the lighter brown splotches of stained wood on the dark espresso finish, I remembered that weekend. I remembered how close we all were. I remembered what it was like to have family so near that even one wrong move could accidentally make someone ticked off. Okay, that not aaaas much as if we were in Texas surrounded by everyone, but it happens every now and then. It could also partly be that I’m living away from my immediate family for school that I felt this was a lot closer to what family is supposed to be like and that what we were experiencing with mom and my brothers was only the half of it. This, would be the thing that I adore. The thing that makes me happy. It’s my family. It’s in knowing that you’ll always have someone there for you. It’s in fighting over the small things. It’s in leaving our marks on things the way students write ‘Jackson wuz here’ with an arrow pointing down to a date and locking it down to the location, as if it wasn’t obvious enough that the marked place was where they’d been. It’s in knowing that you’ll never ever want for a different family, no matter what goes on in it. It’s in loving unconditionally. I love you, familia. Thank you so very much for having us. You give me immeasurable joy and happiness and love. Just thought I should let you know. ❤ 🙂