Lasting Gifts

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My youngest brother enjoying his first niece!

My youngest brother enjoying his first niece!

It was Tuesday night, the third night of our trip (not sure I’d call it a vacation!) to Boston to visit my family. We had a nice pizza party/small family reunion (I am the only member of my immediate family who left Massachusetts) at my parent’s house for dinner, and then we headed back to the condo (my bachelor brother very generously lets us stay at his condo when we come to town!) to get the kids settled for the night.

I was in unusually good spirits because…I had plans!!! And, we were going to a real restaurant! And, my husband was the babysitter, so I didn’t have to worry about the kids when I was gone! So many good things about this…

I watched the toddler (who ends up standing on a table whenever we turn our heads for a second!) while my husband bathed the other four. My companions for the evening had arrived to pick me up and were keeping me company. After the older four kids were safely tucked into bed, I left with my dates. This left my husband with only the toddler to bath and get to bed (easier said than done as she wasn’t adjusting well to the temporary sleeping accommodations at my brother’s!). I felt a little guilty…but only for a second!

I had two male dates for the evening. They are two of my favorite men in the world…besides my husband and father…and my two or three sons (unborn baby gender unknown!). I don’t spend nearly enough time with them (hadn’t seen one of them in a year and a half!).

I am talking about my brothers, of course! I have a sister also, but she is a busy working pregnant mama of a 2-year-old so she couldn’t join us for the evening.

My dates treated me so nicely right from the start. They opened car doors for me, let me choose where to sit (outside on the deck to enjoy the beautiful summer evening), treated me to my chocolate dessert (would’ve loved to have had a beer with them, but that’ll have to wait until after baby is out!), and laughed at all my jokes! I was so happy to be with them…and so very aware of what a gift my siblings are to me.

We talked and laughed for a quick 1-1/2 hours (I joked that I turn into a pumpkin if I’m not home by 10!) about my parents (all in good nature), our shared memories (like the old lady who tipped a dime every week on our old paper route!), our dreams (we all still have dreams based in our old parochial school), our young adulthood (but for grace of God are we even alive!), and our current lives (so separate and distant, yet so closely connected forever). As their older sister, I am so proud of the men they have become.

And then…it was time to go. Perhaps if we did this more often, I would not feel like I had been given such a priceless gift.

I saw them a few times after that (as their busy work schedules allowed) before we left Boston. They are fantastic uncles and my kids just adore them. They joined in outings to the zoo and cookouts at Nana and Papa’s house. These are memories that I’ll store up until we meet again…

I know that my children are God’s gifts to each other…every day. I love nothing better then when they are playing nicely together…and/or when they act lovingly toward each other. But, then there’s the constant fighting (ER!)…

I also remember quite well telling my parents (more than once!) that they should have stopped with me (the oldest!). Woops…

I do have great hope that, God willing, in terms of their relationships with each other, the best is yet to come! Here’s to lasting gifts…

Copyright 2013 Trish Bolster

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About Author

Trish Bolster grew up in Massachusetts but now calls Harrisburg, PA home. After a few years of infertility, she and her husband Ryan have been abundantly blessed with 6 children in 7 years! Her Seasons blog chronicles her crazy yet wonderful journey as she attempts to raise up saints! Visit it at seasons-circleoflife.blogspot.com.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Trish,

    I loved your article as I can relate so well to your situation in so many ways! I was born and raised 30 miles north of Boston and am the oldest of four (one sister, two brothers). I now live in Northern Kentucky with my own family. I hate living so far away from my siblings, but I know that God did that for a reason as we have been closer these past 17 years than ever before. We truly treasure every moment we spend with each other. Especially now that we are all married and have our own families. It’s amazing how even the little ones when they get together with their cousins act like they just saw them. I love how close we all are. God is good and His ways are not our ways, but He does know best!

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