This weekend, I took the kids down to Maryland to visit with their cousins and my parents. Mr. On Pasture stayed home, working on house projects, bless his heart. We only had time for a short visit, but it had been too long since we had all been together. The youngest of the cousins is crawling now, and pulls himself up ready to walk and soon to run. The other little guy will be three soon, and he is a smiling, laughing chatterbox. He rivals his older brother for giving the sweetest hugs ever.
The cousins got together like they had never been apart. They played together in pairs, and in groups. The two pre-schoolers kindly tried to help the youngest learn to climb up the stairs. And they mostly let an adult know when he was wandering toward a precipice.
A friend of mine from childhood and his family joined us for supper one evening. Seeing him, chortling over jokes from long ago, catching up, made me realize that friends like him are like family. And family is a gift that keeps on giving.
Family are the people who remember your favorite flavor of yogurt, or how you used to torment your parents, or how your brother fell through the trapdoor of the attic. Family wakes up your kid who’s napping by stomping too loudly, and family wants to play music when all you want is a moment of quiet. But family goes with you for a run in a snowstorm and then gives you the hat off his head (thanks, brother!). Family rearranges their weekend to see you when you can come to town. And family is always happy you came.
Family are the people who you fit back together with like no time has passed, even after months or even years apart. No matter whether they are family from birth, or family from choice. Kathy and I have felt like family for years. Getting to know the On Pasture Community has stretched our family’s size and geography beyond our wildest dreams. The people who we get to know and get to love are the greatest joy in life. Thank you for reading, and writing, and learning with us.