This A to Z blog challenge is really kicking my butt. Still, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Two more days and… several entries until it’s over!
On top of that, I had a splendid distraction this weekend. My brother, my sister-in-law, and their two sons came out from Chicago to visit my family for a couple days. It’s a roughly eight-hour drive with two small children under 3, so… kudos to them for their bravery!
Friday night, we went to eat Chinese food at a nearby restaurant. We turned around for one moment, and their older child prepared himself for battle using the ancient technique of “crab rangoon war paint.”
We survived the dinner (although our youngest scattered enough fried rice to feed an army), and then we had a nice trip to the park at sunset.
The kids played some basketball with their uncle, and then everyone meandered over to the swings. My youngest and my brother’s oldest both made a beeline for swinging children, as if they wanted to get kicked. Disaster was averted. At some point, my brother commented on how parenting at this age is pretty much 24-hour suicide watch. He has a dry sense of humor that gets me every time.
Saturday involved a pleasant visit catching up and sharing terrifying parent stories (many of which involved poop), followed by ice cream at Dairy Queen.
Prior to the visit, we discussed plans or lack thereof. My brother mentioned our visit in 2007, and how he and my parents had a variety of plans to make the most of the time. I don’t remember it, but we must have shot down a good many of those plans based on a desire for “nothing complicated.” My brother was single at the time, and admitted over the phone, “I had no idea why you guys were so set on simple plans.”
Now, with two small children, he laughed and said, “I completely understand. I had to learn the hard way, I guess.”
So we had simple plans, and it was enough. We enjoyed a lovely dinner with a friend from the Wordsowers writers’ group here in Omaha, and then they visited our church service on Sunday morning before heading back to Chicago.
My brother asked, “Do you agree with this statement? ‘Having children is both the most rewarding and most difficult experience in my life.'”
Of course I agreed. So has every other parent he’s asked.
We had a great time, and enjoyed sharing in each other’s joys and difficulties as parents. Challenging, yes… but one we gladly accept.