Lots of my family lives close by, some siblings as close as next door. And yet, despite proximity, it's amazing how often there are long stretches of time it feels like I haven't spent that much time with one sister or another. But the last few days have been blissfully slow and there has been plenty of time for being in the same space.
We went to my parent's house in the afternoon, but we spent the morning at home, getting things ready and working on projects. Since most of the neighborhood kids were gone for the holidays, Sena and Gus mostly stuck in doors playing Smash Brothers on an ancient Nintendo and building giant forts that were easily overtaken by a storming younger brother. Since the Thanksgiving responsibilities were divided among my mom, myself and three sisters, preparation relatively easy for everyone. Afterward dinner we piled as many people as we possibly could around the television to watch The Notebook, suggested by a quasi-brother-in-law who never fails to surprise me.
I've spent the past few days watching my children function as siblings, while thinking about my own brother and sisters. I am grateful that my children have each other, just as I am grateful for my own siblings, who despite driving me crazy and sometimes even to utter despair, also bring me joy and comfort. I'm grateful to have them around to drink coffee with in the morning. I'm grateful that there are people to distract Arlo with dog videos when he becomes distraught. I'm glad that my own children have a chance at those things too one day.