One of the biggest reasons we decided to move out to Ohio last year was that we wanted to be closer to our every growing brood of nieces and nephews. I’m about 90% that we’ve crossed in the twenties when counting them all up. Growing up, my aunts played a pivotal role in my life, coming to soccer games, swim meets, track meets, school plays, and one ill-fated attempt at a dance rehearsal. We had sleepovers, and when we were older a whole bunch of long conversations that you don’t realize at the time are shaping the adult that you’ll become, but that’s totally what’s happening. I hated that we were so far away, and that in all reality (at the time) a lot of them didn’t know who I was.
They got the concept of “Uncle Jeff is married to Aunt Kate”, and they could identify that Jeff was in fact Uncle Jeff, but when it came to knowing who I was, nope. No idea. I will never forget the moment that my then youngest niece stood with next to her mom, wrapped around her legs asking who I was. Well, says my sister in law, that’s uncle Jeff, so who’s that? Silence. Then a shy “I don’t know”.
My heart cracked a little bit at that. The chance to be more involved in the lives of this side of the family and get to be a part of thier lives? In a heartbeat.
I called my sister in law that lives here in Columbus and asked her if she’s bring my two nephews over for a watermelon and popsicle idea I had had brewing for some time. She said yes.
We got to have a backyard snack picnic, the littlest brother got to have his first popsicle, and we played. It was amazing.