This week is all about family in all its forms.
A lot of weeks I wind up getting so busy with the minutiae of errands, bills, running a household, and all the other stuff that day-to-day life entails I don’t get to spend the kind of quality time that I might like with family. It happens to the best of us. We all have busy lives and jobs and a responsibilities that pull us in a million directions at once. But every once in awhile I get a big heaping dose of family and I remember why I need it so much.
I’m very lucky that I have a large extended family and my husband does as well. And both sides are full of some really amazing people. And since we got married so young, we’ve been blessed to build a lifetime of memories with all of them. In addition, we’ve met people along the way that have become family, not because they’re related by blood, but because having them in our lives enriches our lives immensely.
I got to spend some time last week with my youngest niece. She’ll soon be four months old. It’s easy for me to forget how it is at that age, as MY baby is a junior in high school. Sometimes I get sentimental and I mourn for the days when I could wrap my kids in my arms and cuddle with them and it makes me so sad to think that it all passed so quickly. It’s heartbreaking to have children and know that they are destined to leave you. But spending some time with my niece made me remember that it’s all a journey. In reality, no one would want their children to stay small forever. And when they are small, most of us are so excited and looking forward to their next milestones that we aren’t really focused and appreciative of it anyway. And then *poof*, they’re grown! But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. And really, each step in a child’s life is amazing in its own right. It’s wonderful to have a newborn to cuddle and cradle, but it’s also amazing to watch a toddler walk for the first time or try new foods or grow into their personalities. And it’s wonderful when your kids get a bit older and they start to learn about the world on their own and they develop their own tastes and styles and way of seeing the world around them. And as they grow older and enter their teen years, you can begin to see the adult that they’ll eventually become blooming from inside. It’s a blessing to get to watch them achieve and take chances and try out their wings. No one age is better than any other. It’s just amazing to be able to watch the entire journey unfold in front of your eyes. I need to be reminded of that sometimes when the spectre of an empty nest comes creeping in on me, making me sad or worried. For some reason, a song from “Charlotte’s Web” has been running round in my mind while this blog post was coming to life. Do you remember it? I think it’s quite appropriate.
And then over the weekend, we got to witness another bit of that journey when my cousin made his bar mitzvah. Aside from having a wonderful time dancing and celebrating with my aunt, my uncles and a bunch of my awesome cousins (as well as my husband and our kids), it was wonderful to watch an entire community come together to celebrate one boy’s special moment. I really am grateful for having the opportunity to share in moments like that with our extended family. And it makes me look forward to all the special milestones I have to look forward to in the future – weddings, births, graduations.
So really, I am grateful for my nest (and my family tree). Maybe it’s not so much that I’m headed toward an empty nest, but just a nest that’s getting bigger. As with everything, it’s all in how you look at it!
Have a beautiful week!
Take care. – Mama Bear