My brother Andrew, and his wife Erin came for a visit last week. They live in Chicago, so their visits are few and far between (about twice a year). My kids love them. They don't have any kids of their own yet, so they have lots of love and energy for their nephews and nieces. Andrew is, by far, their favorite uncle. He picks them up and flies them around, teases them, gives them shoulder rides, and is just really interested in them in a genuine way. He doesn't talk down to them and his love for them is evident, and in return, they love him back fiercely. As for me, I too look forward to their visits. Andrew has a great sense of humor, and always comes out with one-liners that has the whole room laughing. Erin is so sweet, and a perfect compliment to Andrew. We have whole-heartedly embraced her as a sister, and look forward to these times to spend with her as well as him.
We saw them 3 times over their stay, each a fun time both for the grown-ups and kids. Monday night we had them over for dinner and it was really hard to say good-bye, knowing that we wouldn't see them until December. As they hugged the kids, N would run full steam into Andrew's arms as he squatted on the floor, and bowl him over, and then back up and repeat. E just clung to him, refusing to let go. Finally though, they left and as they walked out the door E buried her face in the front of my shirt. She was noticeably upset as she got ready for bed, and when she lay down, she finally let it out. She sobbed into her pillow,"Christmas is too far away! I don't like saying good-bye! Why can't they live closer?" I tried to comfort her, but I couldn't say anything that helped, so I said good-night and closed the door on her cries. It broke my heart to see her so upset, but I have to remind myself that it is a good thing that they love their aunt and uncle so much that parting is painful. I am so glad that my kids have a relationship with my brother and sisters.
(this is a picture from Christmas, because, strangely, I didn't get any of the kids with Andrew during this visit)