When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.
— Dr. Joyce Brothers
There are no words for how much I love these two small people:
Obviously, I’m in Richmond at Nate’s. I came down around noon today to spend the night here, since it’s been more than a month since I’ve visited, and I needed a family fix. We went to a Fall Festival (which, when the Conductor asked me if I wanted to go, sounded like “Do you want to go throw a basketball?” And whether that’s because of the way he talks or my hearing impairment is anybody’s guess!) nearby where the kids played carnival games and jumped in the Bounce House (and I could go on and on about allowing 14-year-old volunteers to be the only people manning the thing and allowing big kids in with the little ones, but I won’t, since no one got hurt) and generally had a great time.
Every time I come to visit, I’m struck by how much they’ve grown and changed, even in the short time since I last saw them. They are both funny, happy kids, and their thoughtfulness stuns me. I love to sit on the couch and talk to the Princess. I forget how it came up, but we were talking about watching a movie and she said, “I don’t have a tv in my room. Mommy and Daddy have a tv in their room.” I told her that I don’t have a tv in my bedroom, either, just in the living room. She immediately said, “What about the news?”
The Conductor gets more outgoing every time I see him. He was the first one out to greet me when I arrived, and all day, he’s been calling out “Mel-mel?” and then asking me or telling me something. I nearly always need a translation, but I love that he wants to talk to me so much.
Tonight, because it was a “special” night, the three of us watched Finding Nemo, complete with popcorn, while Nate and Molly went out to dinner.
These are not my children, but they are mine. I know it when the Princess runs up behind me and slips her little hand into mine, or when the Conductor races down the driveway and into my arms when I get out of the car. I know it when she spontaneously cuddles up next to me on the couch or when he smiles as I start to sing him the song I made up for him that I’ve been singing to him since he was just a tiny baby. They’re mine in the way only nieces and nephews can be – and I’m theirs. Always.