I have been banished to the other room while the three oldest nieces and nephews craft a blog post designed to make "the parents" laugh. Apparently I am now one of "the parents" (a designation I'm totally fine with, since I think of them as sort-of-my-kids anyway). So for lack of anything else to do, I will share my recent happenings with you. At least until they are done writing their blog post.
Things are changing. Boston the city is no longer my home. It was a good decade, and I have lots of happy and sacred and growing up-ish memories associated with my time there, but it was time to move on to more important things. So I have chosen to pack a few things, sell the rest, and migrate back west to where I can see the Rocky Mountains, where North, South, East, and West are still used to give directions, and where there is more sunshine. It's also, conveniently, a place where four absolutely hilarious children live, and they really brighten my life with their quirky humor.
In making these changes, I have left behind some wonderful friends and experiences, but so far it seems to be a small sacrifice considering what I am gaining. Family time is healing and happy. We write particularly bad poetry late at night, but we're usually so tired, it makes us laugh so hard we can't breathe more often than not. We have wholesome family activities - even the kind that go down in family lore as being particularly epic. Yesterday we hiked in the mountains above Boulder. (It was fabulously beautiful and the trees smelled like vanilla and the scent reminded me of going to girls camp as a youth.) The week before we tried to go to a wonderful sounding place called Serratoga Falls. (It ended up being a housing development, not a scenic waterfall as we had expected. Grr... We had to go get ice cream to make up for it.)
We also do fun random things. We experiment in the kitchen and try to make new treats. The older two girls give head pats to say goodnight. I get my fill of snuggling (and tickling) and I don't mind running kids back and forth to archery or swim team or whatever they need. I get to teach six 9 and 10 year olds on Sundays in Primary - which I love. It's a different life, but it's a life I've chosen and I'm glad to be living it.
At Batman's request, I will tell our latest random fun. Batman is my oldest niece. She's fourteen and wants to be able to drive. But she's not old enough. Even though she's Batman. The other day, she gave me a hug, and demonstrated the "proper" way to give a hug. It involves standing very far back away from the person you are hugging, wrapping your arms around their torso, and sticking your backside out enough so as to be ... um ... for lack of a better word, awkward. So awkward that it makes you both bust up laughing. If you want a demonstration, come visit. It will make you laugh. I promise.