When I first moved to the DC area for college, I felt that I had struck the perfect chord.
A three hour drive from my parents’ house. Three hours from all of my family: aunts, uncles, cousins. Close enough to be able to drive back there if I needed; far enough away that family members wouldn’t just pop over.
But then my cousins and I started having children. And I’d watch as parents and grandparents and aunt and uncles would drop over to visit my cousins and their families; to see the baby, help with the baby, just hang out together. For my cousins’ children, these family members are part of the normal flow of their days and weeks. Visits are a regular thing.
Here, visits are planned. Weekends have to be picked and marked on the calendar weeks in advance. Suitcases have to be packed and arrangements made.
Here, drop-ins are not part of our lives.
And, to be honest, most of the time, I still really like it that way. Close enough to be able to drive if needed; far enough to have our space to ourselves.
But on weekends like this, I really wish I could see some of them more.
Some of them stay for two days and it goes by in a blink.
We don’t plan big outings for them anymore. They’ve all visited enough that they’ve seen the sights and attractions. They come to see us and we’re so happy to see them.
So we go out to lunch. We cook dinner at home. We go to the park. We venture out for ice cream.
We sit at home and we talk and we play. We laugh and we reminisce.
We basically incorporate them into our daily lives here as if they did drop in every Saturday afternoon.
And in the end, we feel refreshed. Like we just had a mini vacation, doing all of our favorite things with some of our favorite people.
Hope you had a refreshing, mini-vacation kind of weekend.