Last night I sat near the back door listening to the whistle, crackle, and pop of backyard fireworks, counting the ways in which this weekend was delightful. There were the two separate nights with babysitters, which meant two dinners out, one movie, and one trip to Tiny Lounge with some of our favorite out-of-town friends. There was one family trip to the beach, one Sandy-only trip the to the beach, and two trips to pools, one of which featured five waterslides. There was the small parade and then later there was the big parade. There were four different parties, each with watermelon. There was only one skinned knee.
And there were cousins. So. Many. Cousins. Here, for instance, you see our kids with their second cousins from both sides of my family. (Not all of them, mind you. This is just 2/3 of them.)
Mostly boys, as you can see, and Ezra enjoyed watching them play dodgeball and learned new tricks for train and water mayhem. But I have to give a special shout-out to the girls today. That’s Chava (almost 9) holding Zella, as she did for approximately every moment she possibly could both times we saw her this weekend. When I would take her back for a diaper change or feeding, or hand her to another cousin for a moment, you could almost see Chava counting to ten in her head before asking, “can I hold her again?” And that’s Meira (5) upon whose head Ezra is drumming. Each time she turned around to bust him, he would put his hand on his chest as if to say, “who, me?” and she would giggle and turn back around so he could start again.
One of my very favorite things about living in Chicago is that we can see our families all the time. One of our babysitters this weekend was Grandma Amy (thanks!). We spent Saturday afternoon with my cousins in town from Columbus. Then, on Sunday, we went to the pool and two of my other cousins just randomly showed up with their families. That picture was taken at a big party at my parents’ house on Monday. Sandy sometimes talks about wanting to move out of town, out to the country, and my only real argument is, family. And it wins every time.