We live pretty far from our family, so we miss them a lot. We have a niece and two nephews who were born after we moved away; therefore we have only seen them a handful of times. I often feel like they don't know I exist, like some fabled aunt they've only seen in photos or heard their parents and grandparents talk about. This is the main reason I cry in the greeting card aisle at Wal-Mart.
Yesterday, I talked to my mother, and she relayed two tiny, seemingly insignificant events that made my heart sing. I would never have imagined how good something so miniscule would make me feel.
Last Monday, the 17th, was Ivey's 3rd birthday, so I mailed her a gift and a card. She received it on the Friday before and called to thank me. Actually, my brother Chip called, but he had given her the phone before I picked up. We talked for a minute, well, as much as you can talk to a 3 year old on the phone, before my brother and older niece took over. Well, she has been asking my parents about me for the last 2 weekends. On Sunday, the 16th, she asked my dad if I was at home when they came to visit her; then, yesterday, when they all went to my parents, she asked where I was. So, not only does she know I exist, she also knows to associate me with my parents. Of course, she thinks that I live with my parents because that's where she has seen me most, but still, she knows that I exist. Mom says that she knows who MSH and I are in photos as well. She will point to our photo and say our names.
Here she is with a blue monkey, what a cutie.
I also have a nephew who will be 2 next month. Last week I called my other brother Spence and left a message on their answering machine. For what ever reason, they haven't erased it, and while my mother was watching my nephew Richard this weekend, he kept playing the message and saying "Aunt Lawa, Lawa", his version of my name.
Here's Richard at the beach; he's so cool.
I know this photo is a year old, but it's one of my favorites!
Fortunately, one of our nieces, Betsy Kate, was born before we left. Due to the high amount of spoiling I subjected her to, she has not forgotten me. Whenever we see them she runs to me and hugs me and wants to spend all her time with me (It makes me feel great just thinking about it). On the phone, however, she would rather talk to MSH. MSH is her jungle gym and her constant tormentor; she is at that age where she loves to be "gotten". She asked me not to long ago why we lived in Virginia, and said "I don't know why y'all don't just move back to Alabama." I wonder where she heard that one.
She started Kindergarten this year, how fast they grow.
Not to be left out, MSH's brother also welcomed a new addition in April of 2006. Bryson will be two years old four days before Richard. He's a cute little guy who loves to act like a monkey, read books, mash buttons on the remote, and talk on the phone. His GiGi makes sure that he knows us by showing him our picture on her refrigerator and repeating our names over and over. He also recognizes MSH's car.
I told you he loves to talk on the phone, silly monkey:
These are my babies, and I love and miss them all. They are the most precious nieces and nephews I could hope for, and I hope for a few more, plus a cousin or two for them from me and MSH.
By the way, the trip to West Virginia was great. We enjoyed great food and Balderdash! MSH's Spinach dip and the Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce were hits. Now I have to make another Peach Crisp so I don't wind up drinking the left over Maple Cream Sauce. Lord, give me strength.