Thursday, November 22, 2007

Family Time

I am in Chicago, or more specifically, Arlington Heights, a suburb, with my brother and his family: Dawn, my amazing sister in law who manages to supervise three children (including the world's most precocious two year old) and cook and make it look relatively easy, my brother, who just amazed me with his statistical analysis of Monopoly, and their three kids, Viktor, Jackie and Will.

Sofie and I are staying nearby in a Comfort Inn, which is great, because it has a pool for my daughter the fish. Today, we managed to sleep in until 8 AM, then took about an hour to get ready and then hit the breakfast area. My appetite is coming back slowly, so I was brave and ventured into the world of a cup of coffee this AM, without major incident. Yay! Sofie ate the biggest breakfast I have ever seen her consume, a waffle, one pancake, two sausage patties, bacon, cheese, some melon and a hot chocolate. I was truly impressed. Then, at her suggestion, we "explored" the hotel (we have been here once before). We sat for a while in front of the lovely fireplace and just talked, something I realized that we don't really do as much as I would like in the busy regular day to day world, full of rushing here and there, comings and goings. We talked about animals and how she knows a lot about them and wants to learn more. And just stuff. It was lovely. We then continued until we found the swimming pool. There were a couple of little girls in there, and Sofie clearly wanted to join them, so we ran upstairs to change her into a swimming suit. She played for about an hour in there, mostly in the hot tub. But it was lovely to watch, with light snow flurries visible from the outside windows.

We are not doing anything fancy this year and that is just exactly how I needed and wanted it to be. Just pure family time. I just finished a Monopoly game with Vik, Jackie, my brother David and Sofie observing (she has never played it before). I was the first to go bankrupt, but that was fine. David kept me entertained with statistics on what was the most frequently rolled number and what the benefits of what properties on which areas were. I had a blast playing, it was really fun. Good, old fashioned family time.

Despite the past few weeks of discomfort, and the year of growing surreality, I feel that I have much to be thankful for this year. Family and friends, love beyond measure, and just knowing that life, itself, it a daily blessing and not to be taken lightly. And I am so grateful for my beautiful daughter, who delights me and makes me cry with joy sometimes. I watch her interacting, listen to her words and know that even though I cannot bear the idea that I will not see her grow up, that she will be fine. And I have Jamie to thank for that, in a big way. Taking on single parenthood, when it was not something she signed up for, is a big deal. A really big deal. But she is embracing it with grace, enthusiasm and love. Lots and lots of love. And that is really all that matters.

Family is all about love.

1 comment:

Judi said...

I don't know you, but I stumbled on your blog a while back and have been following your postings. You and Jamie are both amazing people and it is generous of both of you to share your experiences with the public. It's like a book in the making, sort of. Today your posting made me cry. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with Sophie and your family.