We’re still on vacation and having a great time. This vacation is the annual gathering of Big’s side of the family. Since his family is scattered in three different states we have formed a tradition of taking one family vacation so we can all spend time together. This year we also included our eleven year old nephew from my side of the family. We’ve still got the rest of the week to go but so far everything has been rolling along swimmingly (excuse me for the bad beach pun).
It’s been fun to see how the family bonds. One thing I’ve been particularly grateful for is the way Big’s family has made sure my nephew feels as much a part of this family gathering as the children who are blood related. I was worried because Shorty and our niece are both shy of their second and fourth birthdays respectively. That’s a big age difference for an eleven year old who is also just shy of his next birthday. Fortunately, there is lots to do here for every age group. The younger kids seem to enjoy the attention of an older kid too and my nephew is terrific with them.
A few days ago I stayed home with my little guy while the rest of the clan went on a three hour fishing expedition. (Yes, many bad Gilligan’s Island jokes about the whole three hour tour thing were said.) All who went had fun and Shorty took a good nap then enjoyed his time alone with mom. The other night I took my nephew miniature golfing while everyone else stayed in and the next day we went souvenir shopping together. It was a rare chance for us to have some quality time together without having a toddler interrupt us every few seconds.
My sister-in-law and her husband have been a Godsend. She is cool and fun and her husband goes right along. They have listened to endless stories and answered countless questions about movies and songs that most adults find stupid but to an eleven year old are cool or funny. These are the things I am not good at listening to. They’ve purchased little gifts and snacks for all the kids. My brother-in-law made the best pancakes one morning and my sister-in-law has pretty much cooked and baked most of the trip.
My mother and father-in-law have also been great. My mother-in-law has also done too much kitchen duty. Last night they took my nephew crabbing on the piers around here. Big and I took Shorty in his stroller. It was a good time even though we only caught 15 crabs and only one was big enough to keep. Big went nuts with a net and was catching crab and the strangest looking skinny, pointy nosed fish we’ve ever since. Too bad our little niece fell asleep and didn’t join us.
And speaking of our niece, oh my God, what a cutie. I bought her some ballet clothes and a little bag for her birthday. She was thrilled and did a little fashion show for us. This child is girly personified and it’s been so much fun for me to be around her. It’s been a nice change from all the boy stuff I’m usually surrounded by. I wish we saw her more than once or twice a year. Shorty needs to get better acquainted with his cousin.
We have had some down sides on this trip. Big’s back is bothering him so he’s been popping painkillers and muscle relaxers. It’s making him groggy and nasty plus he doesn’t feel like doing anything because he’s in pain. My brother-in-law has been sick the last day or so too. And several of our crew has broken out in minor skin rashes that necessitated a trip to the store for Cortisone.
We’ve got two more days and I’m hoping to get more swimming and some Jet skiing in. I’ll let you know how things turn out.