Nine highlights from our trip in random order:
1. I've written about it before (last week), and I'll write about it again. Hardly anything makes me happier than watching my kids play with their cousins.
My daughter and my sister's older son are in interesting team. Charlie has a strong will, and he can bowl most playmates over with it. Maggie comes across as a pushover in some ways, but she can hold her own with Charlie, and it is fun to watch. One afternoon, they spent an hour playing together without any parent interaction or supervision. Beautiful!
2. I don't go to church except when I visit family, but I grew up going every Sunday. I can't begin to number the hymns my sister and I have sung next to each other. It warms the cockles of my heart when we stand next to each other and sing familiar songs again. I may not be able to attend to a sermon for more than 30 seconds, but I do like the hymns.
3. Kiddie Park. There is an ancient amusement park for the preschool set in San Antonio's Brackenridge Park. We older cousins hypothesize that it must be decades out of code. I have a 70-something-year-old uncle who visited this park when he was a boy. But we love it, and we just keep our fingers crossed. One to five years old, there was a little something for every cousin.
4. Glennon. Do I need to expound on that any further? Probably not.
5. Lots of good, quiet times with my parents. Making supper together, watching TV, playing games, discussing my hidden talent so I could write a blog post. A night out at a bar with my dad and park adventures with my mama and the kids (with this memorable statement from Maggie, "We are going to throw huge and big and small rocks into the huge river!"). I leave my worries at home when I visit my parents.
6. Watching Downton Abbey with my original family. Such a small event and such a highlight. We laugh at the same lines ("sloth under water" (BTW, Lizzi, you must tell me if it's a Brit thing to pronounce sloth with a long o or if its just an early 20th century thing)) and react similarly to the same events. Then we all shared a high class beer and discussed the episode. Why is it that Cora cannot hold her head upright?
7. Tex-Mex to feed my soul. Taco Cabana or La Fonda, I won't turn it down. I could eat Tex-Mex once a week so it's just as well that I only indulge in TX. I feel obligated to put away a basket of chips and salsa in addition to my entree and my margarita to get the full good out of the meal, so I'm afraid I would soon weigh 200 pounds.
8. Grown-up cousin time, too! Golly, I love those people. It's funny to think these steady, grown-up folks who carry such huge responsibilities on their shoulders were the same ones who made up silly dances for each other to copy, participated in farting competitions, and played rounds of septuple Solitaire. We may have left the silly dances and farting competitions behind (not the multi-player Solitaire games), but we've retained our senses of humor, and those growing up years together have cemented our relationships.
9. The innumerable moments of bonding between generations. My dad putting Leo to bed each night, my sister brushing my daughter's hair, my brother playing a very long game of Keep-the-Ball-on-the-Roof with my daughter and nephew. Too many more to name and all equally precious.
And number 10:
There's not one of our number who will be disappointed to see the Dude at DCA on Saturday. Soon, Dude, soon!