Tonight, my husband’s family who has been visiting for the past three weeks will head back to India. They arrived when Henry was eight weeks old and have now witnessed more than a quarter of his little life. During this time, he has started to “talk” much more, recognize faces, and smile almost all the time. He was baptized and celebrated his first Thanksgiving, had his two-month immunizations, and unless my eyes are fooling me, his eyelashes are growing longer every day. It has been a sweet time.
Of course, before they arrived, I wondered what our days would look like. In our short time together, Henry and I quickly established a routine, but a routine that revolved around the two of us alone (and Daddy, of course, when he returned from work and on weekends). I worried a little that we might lose one of my favorite hours of each day, the time during which we take our walk (and the surefire way to kick off Henry’s afternoon nap). Fall is my favorite season — it is still officially fall, right? — and it’s a beautiful time for cool, crisp air, not to mention a welcome reprieve from days spent mostly inside with an infant.
Throughout their visit, Mother Nature threw us a couple of cruel curve balls, with temperatures that made it difficult to defend my “best weather” pitch. Nonetheless, my sister-in-law, Nicole, was motivated to get out and move each day, too, and as often as we could manage, we bundled Henry into his stroller and headed out for fresh air. Since my in-laws live overseas we aren’t able to visit often, which made the walks — and more importantly, the talks — so much better than social media or occasional phone calls allow. It felt special to have someone so close to my husband along for what has quickly become one of me and Henry’s very best rituals.
Last week, on one of our flukey warm afternoons, we scrapped the usual neighborhood route so we could walk in one of my favorite parks. Nik and I used to frequent the park when we lived just a touch closer and it’s a mile-and-a-half loop I still run regularly (well, ran regularly?) when tacking mileage onto a nearby eight-mile route. It felt sentimental and sweet to me, especially with my little one riding along, and fun to share such a special place. We are family after all, right?
There’s no moral to the story today, I guess, just the perspective of looking back and recognizing the things that made a visit special as the sun sets and it comes to a close.
Are there any habits or rituals or experiences you’ve been hesitant, and then happy, to share? Do your family or friends, have a special place or activity that’s even sweeter when experienced together?