It's day 3 of what is shaping up to be a great vacation in upstate New York. While the weather is hot and muggy, John and Jill's pool has been a lifesaver. It's actually made for a very relaxing vacation thus far. The kids are getting along so well that we hardly notice they're around most of the time. They occasionally show up for food or a quick minute of adult conversational stimulation before they run back to their cousins and resume playing with their cousins.
Trips to see the Neufang side of the family is much like our trips to Minnesota where they have cousins on my side of the family. They get along great with all of their cousins and it makes our trips here and there so nice because the adults can sit and talk without having to worry about entertaining the kids like we once did.
A good example of this was yesterday when we were sitting by the pool and Sarah and Halle came up and said they wanted to sing a song they'd written for us. The song was built around the 12 days of Christmas, but substituted in place of nice Christmassy things were disgusting things. (Snot balls, etc.) While it was gross to listen to, it was fun to know that the girls had created it together and written it down, and then were not too shy to sing it in front of me. Good kids being goofy, and, well, kid-like.
The other incident that comes to mind was when we first got here, Sarah sat down with Leah and started to draw a big picture of Captain Jack Sparrow. They both LOVE art and were giving each other tips as they went along. It was cute, innocent and heart-warming to watch. In a few years these times will be ancient history and I'll have nothing but the memories to enjoy.
There have been numerous other fun, cousin moments, Ben hanging with Grace in the pool, Ben and Halle shooting me in the face with high powered water guns, to the point of my eyelids turning inside out, and many others. It's going to be a great week.
At the same time, this morning I read a caring bridge update and learned that the diagnosis for Ben's 12 year old friend's brain cancer has spread to the point that he can't even swallow the clinical trial capsules that he was supposed to start on soon. The doctors have said that there's nothing they can do but keep him comfortable at this point.
As someone said this week, I don't know how you wake up after something like that. I certainly don't know how I would do it. I think leaning on friends and family is the only way I've made it through my brother's ordeal, so I guess it would probably be the same if it were one of my kids. God Forbid. I don't even like the thought of it. I see how it affected my father the way it did when my sister died. I think I'd fall into depression and never come out.
So, my goal for the rest of the week is to realize how precious this time, this day, this hour is. To relish it, savor it, wrap my life around it and tuck it away into the deep recesses of my mind where I'll be able to recall it when I need it most.
Life is short. Know God. Love your spouse, family and kids. Get past your petty disagreements and hug your brother/sister/parent/uncle/aunt.