keenchick

Stories and thoughts about family and life

18 years full of memories

on May 16, 2015

I can’t believe 18 short years ago I was still a newlywed (somewhat), and awaiting the arrival of my twin niece and nephew.  I was blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with them when they were little and I could help their mom out some, and I have so many memories of them.  Some of them funny, a couple of them sad, all of them precious.

Brooke was a beautiful, funny, chatty little girl who loved new clothes and jewelry.  Barrett was a very intelligent, cute, sweet boy who loved to play outside and from even the youngest age enjoyed basketball.  I remember so many afternoons taking them to the park, or playing on the swingset, or throwing the basketball around.  When I would have them, we’d go for ice cream and drive around town, or sit and watch a movie.  I remember once taking them to the drive-thru safari in Gentry with my sister, or spending the Millenial New Year with their family as everyone was recovering from the flu and I had gone to take care of them while my sister and her husband couldn’t.   I remember how my husband used to romp in the floor and play “horsie” with the two of them, while they’d each scream “Uncle Louie!”  Memories later on included getting to take my niece to school or pick her up in the afternoons when I was in town on business or watching Barrett playing in the pool with my boys, or us all going to the fair together.

I learned a lot about myself, and many of those experiences prepared me for my own kids, the first of which arrived when Brooke and Barrett were three.  They’ve always included Luke and Brennan, and made them both feel special.  My kids adore their cousins, and look up to them as role models.  It makes me exceptionally proud, both as a mom and as an aunt.

My sister and brother-in-law hosted a luncheon last Thursday for the family to get to spend time with Brooke and Barrett and celebrate their graduation in a more one-on-one fashion.  My brother-in-law gave a poignant prayer just prior to our meal about the wonderful blessings these two have had, and all the people in their lives who have helped them become who they are.   As various people around the room spoke about their relationship to Brooke and Barrett and how special they are, I was inspired to see everyone who have had a hand in the lives of these two amazing people, and I hope that Luke and Brennan will have that same realization as they embark on their adult lives.

As my parents and I watched the photo slideshow playing while we ate our lunches, we discussed all the memories we had–funny stories, sweet sayings, and how much the kids have changed over the years.  There’s something about watching a slide show from infancy to graduation that does that to you.  I watched them literally turn into adults before my eyes again that day, and I wasn’t prepared for the waves of emotion I would feel as their “kid” lives come to a close and their “adult” lives begin. It makes the few short years I have left with my kids even more precious.

I am so proud of my niece and nephew, and I can’t wait to see their futures unfold.

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