I have long been a believer in the whole "it takes a village" deal. Being social creatures we need help, connection and the safety valve for the stresses of life that having a support network provides. Before kids I was more often the help-er than the help-ee. My pride and stubborn nature often getting in the way, even in times when I really could have used a hand or a shoulder or an ear. One of the greatest gifts that Quinn's entrance into the world has given me is the acceptance of needing my village.... of admitting that I can't do it all alone. That there can be just as much joy being on the receiving end, as on the side of giving. We are incredibly blessed to have an amazing group of friends & family around the globe. Although our family is spread far & wide across this country, we manage to get together whenever possible. I often daydream about how incredible it would be if we all lived in the same area. Or, at the very least, on the same coast.
Thankfully, a part of my village showed up just at the right time this holiday season. The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of doctor's appointments, school and the regular stuff of life... made more challenging by having to do it all single-parent-style. We are nearing the end of William's latest job & are all so very ready for it to be done. The longest project to date... he is currently going on nine solid weeks of work with only 4 days off the entire time... the job was just extended two more weeks & his shifts were upped from 12's to 13 hour days. (Yay for the overtime. Boo hiss for the time away from home factor.) To say we are missing Daddy, is beyond an understatement.
So when my brother-in-law proposed the idea of he & his two boys coming to visit for Thanksgiving, I couldn't get the word "YES!" out of my mouth fast enough. Normally the prospect of spending 5 days with 6 boys in my house would send me running for the nearest Lilith Fair concert, but even the thought of having help with my two wild monkeys for a few days made me tear up with joy. (You know it's time for a break when you see the guys lined up outside of Home Depot looking for work & the thought crosses your mind, "I wonder if any of them would be up for babysitting?") Tickets were booked & my prayers were answered.
My two little boys were over-the-moon to have their two older cousins to play with. Endless attention and patience for tower-building, wrestling & boy games made it possible for me to get all of the Thanksgiving shopping done on my own. Remy got to spend an entire day out with the "big boys" while Quinn & I went to his hearing test. (Great news on that front, one ear tested within the "normal range", he now only needs his hearing aid for speech-intensive activities. He has started telling me when things are "loud", proving that his ear tubes are doing their job.) Remy was up with fever & an earache the night before Thanksgiving so I knew a holiday trip to the doctor was inevitable. Walking into our house, after a long wait for the doctor and even longer wait in the pharmacy, & being met with the smells of turkey, stuffing & all the fixings in the works, I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude. (Thank you Rick!!!) Reminding me, once again, that not only can the men in my village take care of themselves, they are also quite skilled at doing the "taking care of"... something for which I am ever-grateful.
We managed to squeeze in a lot of lounging, eating & adventuring during their stay... all of the ingredients for an amazing Thanksgiving week.
We even fit in an outing to the city to visit the "big zoo" as Remy has named it.
Ever since they left my boys have asked daily, or more accurately, hourly the first day, where are their cousins? ("Where Sam?" asks Quinn, pronouncing the "s" and the "m" just perfectly, much to our delight.) So we are back to park outings, making mud soup and, although still missing Daddy, recharged & ready to face the next two weeks.
Looking forward to the next village gathering.
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