Monday, November 23, 2009

Two Days Plus Twenty Four Years

"Why did they only spend two days with us?"

Which is a question I can't really answer because the real question is, why do we live so far from those who love them so much? Two days with the uncles is never enough, even when those two days are full of Christmas lights and circuses and sushi, it's never enough, as far as Mary and Kate, and their mother, are concerned.

My childhood was full of aunts and grandparents, weekly visits and overnight stays with people who loved me, but Mary and Kate's is not. There are no grandparents here; Jack's family is in another state and not keen on traveling, and my own mother is self adhered to her house with a sticky glue unknown to most. But we have the uncles who think nothing of popping up for a few days spent with the "girlies", their mother and father being a distant afterthought once they arrive. Absolutely fine with me, Mary and Kate couldn't be happier than when perched on the shoulders of two adoring uncles, laughing wildly while being held so tightly that neither mother nor father could pry them away.

As we begin this week of family and friends and thankfulness, I am thankful for these two who come into our lives and remind the girls that families come in all shapes and sizes. While we are blessed with some, we are lucky enough to choose others, and 24 years ago, when Mr. Friendly popped his head into my dorm room, I had no idea that I was making a choice beyond late night study halls, this guy was going to be with me, and whatever else we became, forever.

And so, at the almost end of the circus, when I leaned over and whispered to Mary that we had to step out, that it was time for the uncles to leave, she looked back with huge teary eyes, amid bright lights and flying people, to ask why? Perhaps the answer is that two wonderful days are better than none, and the real blessing is that they will always be back, that you can count on, forever.

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