Sunday, July 13, 2008

our aunts are Great-Great!

yesterday the kids and i spent the day visiting relatives in Bethlehem. we don't have much family, so we could do the whirlwind tour in just one day. first we stopped to see my great aunts- Mary and Olive. if you think of the Baldwin sisters on the old TV show, The Waltons, you can have a pretty good picture of what they are like.

all my life i can remember the aunts being a part of our lives. there are many pictures of me and my mother spending holidays and other important milestones with them. we would often stop in for a visit, and i know that my mother always tried to keep in touch with them. in turn, i often take my own children down to see the aunts on special days, and since they have lived in their house for 71 years, the pictures all seem the same- just different clothes, new wallpaper, and the children in the picture get older: first my mother, then me, and finally my children.

i have made the trip down to see the aunts after each of the children were born, to show them my newest baby. this Christmas M and i took the girls down- it was going to be their first time seeing baby B. it was so reminiscent for me of the same trip that i had taken almost 20 years earlier, with my own mother, to show off my first baby- M. this will be a tradition that i hope we will be able to continue when M has her own children.

we also stopped to see another aunt, from the other side of the family- my aunt sandy. i could fairly say that she is my favorite aunt, and she has always been a loving and supportive figure in my life, even though we often drift apart in the busyness of raising 10 children between us.

i have never had the close family relationships that i so eagerly wanted, and at times desperately needed, but i am thankful for what i do have. i know that even though we are all busy with many things, there is always something grounding about visiting blood relatives, and feeling that attachment with them. someone that you knew you when you were a little kid, and can say "do you remember that time when you were visiting at our house, and ate the artificial apple from our fruit bowl?" or, "remember when i offered you a lick of my ice cream cone, and you ate a whole scoop?"

we all long to be close to people, and feel loved- it is a God given need in all human beings. as my children grow, and as some are preparing to leave our home, i am strongly reminded that I am the anchor of the boat that is My Family. it is me that builds traditions, and cements the life-long relationships that will foster that sense of connectedness. It will be my job to provide the home atmosphere that encourages the returning of the children, and staying involved in their lives.

this can and will be a large and daunting task, and even terrifying at times, but with God's help, i pray that i am up to the challenge. above all, i want to be a Good Mother.

Aunt Olive and Mary with the 2 little girls.


Octamom said...

How, how precious, to have these memories, these pictures. What a powerful lineage.

Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

Just me said...

What precious pictures! What a neat memory:) Thank you for sharing.


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