Monday, December 8, 2008


Two weeks later, I can finally write about Thanksgiving weekend without feeling exhausted. Our first visitors arrived the Tuesday prior and left the Monday following. In between, eight of our cousins passed through the house, and one night 13 kids sat down to dinner (pizza, of course; I'm not crazy enough to actually cook dinner for 13 children). It was a wonderfully hectic weekend filled with family and friends, ending on Sunday with a bris hosted for our friend Lauren, who welcomed Henry Eliot to her family.

I was a bit worried about how Declan would fare over the weekend. All the visiting cousins were older--between 8 and 11 years of age--and, save one, female. As I've written before, Declan keeps one foot with the younger kids and one foot with the older ones. I had no doubt that with all the big cousins around, Declan would prefer to hang with the older crowd; but would they want to hang out with him?

I needn't have worried. Though 8-year-old Justin, the lone male cousin over the age of 4, didn't always get on well with all the girls, Declan proved to be a popular kid. I guess I underestimated the cute factor. Girls love cute little kids. Both Declan and Ronan fell in love with their cousins, especially Megan and Brooke, who live in Ohio. We're hoping we can make a trip out there in the spring so the kids can see each other again.

The whole weekend made me realize how lucky we are to have all the kids living together. I wish Megan and Brooke lived closer, so Declan and Ronan could spend more time with them, and so I could get to know them as well as I have gotten to know Jonah, Erika, Hilary, Aaron, and Gretchen. The thought of Ronan and Aaron only seeing each other a few times a year, instead of being the constant companions they are now, makes me sad.

As warm and fuzzy as I felt about seeing all the kids together, I'm sure it was nothing compared to how my great aunt Rose felt. Aunt Rose lost Uncle Bob, her husband of more than 70 years, last June, and this was her first visit up North since then. She couldn't stop telling us how happy she was, how she would remember this weekend forever.

I'll remember it too, because I'm sure it won't be long until Declan tires of being an adorable playmate and decides it would be more fun to tie Brooke's bra to the balcony railing or steal Megan's diary and post excerpts on the Internet.

Hopefully, the adorable playmate thing will work for a few more years.

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