I think that I have mentioned before that home is where my son, my husband and my kitties are. But this past week, I have experienced one where everyone knows your name, they are glad you came, (and before you think that I am quoting the Cheers theme), they cheer at your successes, they help when things get tough, and they dance…a lot.
Last week, Baby A and I stayed with Aunt G, one of my favorite aunts—I have many to choose from. There we had a family slumber party where Baby A learned not only to freeze dance but to dance using his arms; watched his cousins young and old make pancakes while singing and dancing to Lady Gaga and other assorted music; confuse one of my cousins for me and play cars and trains with his two-and-a-half old cousin. I don’t think I have ever seen my son laugh and play so much in a 12 hour period in his short life. And this was only the beginning. The next seven days had him spending an entire afternoon playing in fresh snow (We’re in Chicago. He’s a California boy who is used to going outside everyday. Once he experienced the snow I couldn’t get him to stay inside despite his lack of proper attire.). He arranged five women between the ages of 27 and 80 into a “drum” circle made up of dog crates and tables so he could dance and led those have women to dance while watching the Grammys. All and all, he was the center of attention for seven days.
Now I realize that if we lived here all the time, these events wouldn’t be the norm week after week. But the energy would be. Because that’s what struck me—the interaction between young and old having fun together. Cousins awaiting the arrival of other cousins. Close knit cousins years older than Baby A not only playing with him but accepting him into their fold and looking out for him—making sure he was safe, making sure he understood the game they were playing, making sure he was participating. It’s this energy that I am going to miss when we go back to California. Our family there is small and adult. While they adore Baby A, it isn’t the same interaction that he has had in the Midwest. I love my family and wouldn’t trade them for the world. I just wish we lived closer. Until that time, quarterly trips may be in order so that Baby A can experience his family in all their dancing glory.