But, there is no time in life when this feeling of far-away-ness is most deeply felt than right after a new little bundle of joy is born. Everyone wants to help you. And everyone wants to hold her.And there are simply just not enough iPhone pictures in the world to make up for the tangible touch of a little hand, and no app (yet) for that sweetnewborn scent that you would do your laundry in if you could just bottle it up.
So, when it came time for Daphne to be born, the plans got-a-cookin', so to speak. My sweet Grammy had just passed away, so everyone (except for me) had just gotten in their rounds of hugs and kisses from far and wide with the relatives that gathered in Kansas for the funeral. Since I was great with child at the time and couldn't be there, it left all the more longing for people to want to reach out and get their hands on this new baby - a precious symbol of life after such a sad loss in our family.
My brother's family had already decided to make a Kansas trip out for the State Fair, something his wife and kids had only heard legend of. Since I only get to see them about once a year now (that would be the sound of my heart breaking that you hear right now) I figured it was all the more bonus to get my babies out there at that same time - a two-for-one/killing-birds-with-stone sort of thing.
Unfortunately, since my husband had just started a new jo
b and taken three weeks off for the birth of our second daughter, he wouldn't be able to accompany us - hence the flying out of my mother and then sister to help me on what, from now on, would be known as "the voyage of insanity".
Pause. Upon our return, and now discovering that Josh was able to completely hibernate during the full 5 days - not to mention a couple trips to the driving range and movies - I'm starting to think that either A) this was his master plan to be able to finally make up all that sleep he's been losing, B) he's finally seeking his revenge on me since my pregnancies have forced him to be the one to have to ta
ke the chore of changing the kitty litter for the last two years (you can't change litter when prego) or C) he's smarter than I am after all. Hmm.
It was a sweet reunion when we all finally gathered in Kansas (sans Josh).
Above all, I finally got to see my Grandpa on this trip, and he got to meet sweet Daphne for the first time. At 90, this man continues to impress us all. He still does amazing woodwork (sending Matilda home with a new jigsaw puzzle) and had a smile on his face the whole time we visited...something that would make my Grammy very proud.
It was awesome to see everyone finally able to love on sweet Daphne for the first time...and get tackled by Matilda as well. At almost 2, Tilda is just getting to the age where she can really play with her cousins and yet young enough to still be completely doted on. My nephews range from ages 9 to 14 (how OLD does that make me feel?) and both my nieces are 7...so, it's been long enough since there were tinies in the family for Matilda and Daphne to be novelties to the rest of them.They had so much fun playing "get chased by Matilda" or "get climbed on by Matilda" or "try to out-scream Matilda", and many pics were snapped as they took turns passing around Daphne, coating her chunky cheeks in kisses. With 15 of us total, it is always chaos trying to get anything done or go anywhere. Even meal times become loud, dragged-out events that resemble a circus more than a Norman Rockwell paint
ing. But with my mother's amazing cooking and a table that is always impeccably set, the effort outweighs the bedlam.
I think it was around day 3 that the novelty started to wear off. Don't get me wrong - everyone loves us. My family is nothing if not adoring over my girls. But, by the third night of wailing before bedtime and tantrums during supper and questionable smells from suspicious bottoms...well, that's when everyone is counting their blessings that they are related to you - and not you.
Still, there's no sweeter feeling than seeing your loved ones love on the ones you love. That's a lot of love. And that's exactly what made this voyage of insanity totally worthwhile.