Thursday, September 1, 2011

Counting My Blessings

Yesterday was a busy, but very typical day for my little group.  We started out by heading out to get some balloons and a cake for my dad's 65th birthday.  He's obviously not feeling well these days, so we just marked the day with a simple little lunch for him early in the day.  After that, we headed straight to the school for open house where we met the new teachers and hung out for a little bit chatting with people.  Then home for hubby to get his stuff packed up and head out for a gig (have I mentioned he's in a band?), and get the kids fed and ready for football.  Then the kids and I were off to football, team pictures, a treat, and then home again.

It was a very regular day.  But as I went to bed last night, I started thinking about how lucky, how blessed I am, that I can call that a regular day.  Because of family.  My hubby was with me yesterday, and my kids were with me all day.  Normal.  I didn't really think about it at the time.  On my way to my dad's birthday lunch, I spoke on the phone with hubby's sister, one of my very best friends.  Normal.  At the birthday lunch I was able to be with mom and dad.  My brother was there with his wife, and anyone who knows me  knows that they are so much more than family to me.  Their two boys were there, who are not only precious to me, but the are like rock stars to my kids.  They are teenagers, after all.  My man-of-honor (a story for a later time) was there, and he is like a child's security blanket to me.
Brother and S.I.L. 1

Man-of-Honor and Sister

On the way to football, I talked on the phone to my sister, who is, well, my sister.  My absolute closest confidante, the only person on the planet who knows everything there is to know about me.  She lives a ways away, so I don't see her as much as I'd like, but she's coming into town today!  Then at football, my other sister-in-law showed up to watch with her two boys.  This sister-in-law is like my partner in crime.  If I knew her in school we would have been besties, so how lucky am I that I married the brother of her hubby and now we can be?!?  She brought her two kids, one is a quiet but sweet teenager who puts up patiently with my kids begging to arm wrestle him, and her youngest, who is a touch older than my boys, who has been a constant playmate of theirs since they were born.
S.I.L. 2 and 3

The thing is, all this was so NORMAL.  Awesome.  I saw or spoke with almost everyone in my big family yesterday, and thought nothing of it.  What a blessing it is to be surrounded by such a support team, such loving people all growing up together, learning from each other, laughing with each other, putting up with each other.  I would not trade it for anything.
S.I.L. 2 and me

I tell my kids all the time how important their relationship is.  I'm sure they get tired of it, as they drive each other crazy.  They are built-in best friends.  Siblings will drive you crazy, make you mad, irritate you, hurt your feelings and break your toys.  But they will understand you, defend you, and love you like nobody else can.  They are there for the long haul, unlike many friendships.  Someday they will get married and (hopefully) bless you with another built-in best friend, then maybe have kids that you can love more than you ever believed you could.
Hubby and his brother--built in besties.

A and J are best friends.  I didn't have to try too hard.  Watching them together makes me so proud, almost always.  They squabble, sometimes too much.  But they ALWAYS have each other's back.  When one of them gets hurt, the other one gets almost more upset with worry.  They make each other laugh every day.  Watching them grow up, knowing they will know what I know someday, that they will have each other to lean on, is amazing to me.

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