Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Next Generation


Once there was a family. There were two parents and 4 children. Three of the children were much older than the fourth child. As the children grew older, they moved to different places around the country. They met other people and created their own families. It was hard to stay in touch but they did because they were family.

That family is my family – my parents and my siblings. I miss them. None of us live close to each other. So when one of us has an opportunity to be in a location close by, we set up a visit.

Recently, I was in Las Vegas for a conference for work. My youngest sister lives in Los Angeles, 4 hours away. On my last night there, she and my nephew drove over to spend the night with me.

Andie is the youngest of the four of us, the baby, the one that is so much younger than the rest of us. I am the oldest. Much older than Andie. I was almost 19 when she was born, old enough to be her mother. I used to think that was really cool when I was younger. Now I think it just makes me old. Andie grew up in almost a different generation than I did even though we are siblings. She is only 6 years older than my oldest child and 4 years older than my brother’s oldest child.

Andie has a 6 year old named Taj that I love dearly. Of course I am probably more like a far away grandmother to him than an aunt. And I hate that he never really knew my mom who would have loved the amazing child he is so I feel the need to sort of show him what she would have been like as a grandmother. Not that I can live up to her but I can try – a good goal.

So Andie and Taj and I headed to dinner with some of my friends and watched the gondolas on the canals at The Venetian. Then we broke off on our own to explore Vegas – Taj’s first trip. We walked the strip down one side, gazed at the lights of all the amazing casinos, saw part of the fountain show at The Bellagio twice, strolled the Bellagio’s conservatory all done up in an Asian theme, got some amazing gelato, and strolled the strip back up the other side. As we crossed the footbridge from The Mirage to The Venetian, even though he was not tall enough to see over the sided of the bridge, Taj saw that there were plexiglass panes along the sides. He asked his mom to hold him up so he could see. Then he breathed hard on the glass. He wrote TAJ in the condensation. Then he breathed on it again and wrote IS OSUM. TAJ IS OSUM. For those that don’t speak 6 year old that was “Taj is awesome”. As the condensation quickly faded, I snapped a quick picture. Yes he is.

It just touched my heart. I thought about my mom and how she would have loved that. She would have loved his confidence, been proud of his clever little mind, and pleased by what a great mom her youngest daughter has become.

And it made me think of all my siblings and their children. Our children number 11 and range greatly in age from a few months old to their mid-20’s, one with a child of his own. They are interesting, intelligent, talented, and really fun young people. They are athletes or artists or scholars or business people. They don’t know each other well as a result of the distance between us all but we are all family. They all have really good parents if I do say so myself. We had the best example.

I am excited about the next generation. What a great feeling.


Dexter's Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dexter's Girl said...

You made me cry.

Laura B said...

That is awesome; I mean, OSM! Your family reminds me of my family. My sister & brother were 15 and 14 when I was born and my parents were 41 and 40; we would go out places and people would think my sibs were my parents and our parents were my grandparents. I was an aunt at 11. All my life, when people hear how much younger I am, they will tell me, "oh, you must have been a mistake!" or "you were an oops baby!" But what they never bother to ask is that my Mom had 2 painful miscarriages between my brother and me, and they never thought they could have more children. They both came from families of 5 or more children, so they never intended to stop with 2 kids. My mother taught me to say, "I was an unexpected blessing."

Hey Andie, if you're reading this, hi from one baby to another!

Ruth D~ said...

There's nothing like family, and you show that well. The old and the young, and the stand ins. It's all abut love.

Tere said...

Thanks everyone! Sorry I made you cry Christi!!!