Evie is at that age where questions are sometimes cryptic. She has grown out of the stage where her language skills limit her intelligibility, so now when I don’t understand her question, it is usually the actual subject matter.
A few days ago, before Spring breathed a few 60 degree days on us, we were enjoying a daddy and daughter dinner time at home. The evening was capped with s’mores, roasted carefully over our fireplace. As we were enjoying the pleasure of our labors, she asked me, “Do we have 17 marshmallows?” I stopped and thought about this one for a while. When nothing came to my head, I asked her why she wanted to know if we had 17 marshmallows. She replied, “So we have enough for all my cousins when they come to visit.”
That answer made my eyes moist (the closest thing to crying I’ll ever admit). It was a reminder of the benefits of living closer to her cousins and the fact that they are an integral part of her life, a part of her childhood. She’ll have memories that will never fade over time but will be renewed every time she sees her cousins again, which given our current track record is about once a month.
One of the sweetest parts of this was because she had just gone through the longest stretch of not seeing them I could remember, somewhere around two months. The stretch was broken when my parents visited us for the Birthday Breakfast weekend and brought Carissa with them.
It was scary how sister-like they were the whole weekend. They played, ate, and slept together, almost inseparable.
The day after Carissa left, ice and snow visited us and we spent some time enjoying the white stuff while Nashville shut down.
Unfortunately, courtesy of a lame public school system, we had a whole week of snow days looming in front of us. So we took advantage of being only two hours away and sent Evie down to Huntsville to spend the remaining days with her cousins and grandparents. This is a huge benefit for us, something we could not have done if we lived further away. The benefit goes beyond the practical needs of parents with jobs and goes deep into those mysteriously strong ties of family. We are blessed with a very supportive and loving family and despite not having a beach nearby, I happily give it all up for the opportunity of Evie growing up surrounded by her extended family. Thanks, sis! Thanks mom! Thanks dad!