Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Family visit, 4th of July, and Delaney's lucky day

Tim Sr and our niece Alexa came down last Wednesday to spend a few days with us. We had a lot of fun. I have to admit I worried that we would bore Alexa to death. We had never had any cousins come to visit us before, either here or in NC. I thought that our simpler, more small town way of life (as well as our routine with little kids) would be a whole lot less exciting than what she was used to in Massachusetts. But if that was true I never could tell. She seemed as cheerful and content as could be no matter what the plan was, be it the pool, a walk, quiet time at home, the colors ceremony, church, downtown, whatever. She was so sweet to her little cousins even when they were being annoying, and really nice to have around. I know that cheerful and content is not necessarily the default setting for 11-year-old girls either.
Tim Sr made lots of good use of his camera's self-timer. "Let's take a selfie!" "It's not a selfie, Grandpa!" Or is it?
Delaney and Alexa have been penpals and buddies for awhile now. Alexa told us that it got harder to think of things to write about as it got closer to July, because Delaney's big surprise was all she wanted to talk about. But we all did a good job of keeping things under wraps.

We had a little birthday celebration for Delaney on Friday. Her birthday is actually on the 8th, but we had to pick a day while we were all together, so that was it. She had a rainbow roll (sushi) per her request. The rest of us had pizza, shrimp and salad. Tim got her a sheet cake that was blank in the middle so she could decorate it with her own drawings of animals, because that's what she wanted to do this time.
That was an enormous rainbow roll. I think I ended up eating half of that myself.
After we sang 'happy birthday' Tim and I gave her a card. She read it out loud to everyone, including Grandma and aunties on Skype. Inside Tim had written, "We're going to miss you when you're gone." Delaney didn't even miss a beat, just kept on reading, but Annie was like, "Wait, where is she going?" Tim prompted her to look at the piece of paper folded up inside the card and tell us what it was. It was an email from JetBlue .. a flight itinerary .. Savannah to Boston .. for what day? Monday, July 6 .. And who else is flying to Boston on that day? Alexa started waving at her like, 'Hellooo, it's meeee.."
She was really excited. She had not seen that coming at all. But wait! There was more. Grandpa had more gifts -- one for Delaney, one for Annie, and even one for me. They all looked like this, each with our own monogram.
Don't you just love the little box? Tim's sister Karen put these together for everybody. She is so crafty. I think they were meant to be a Christmas gift. Maybe the other girl cousins got theirs for Christmas.
The rest of us will fly to MA on July 23rd, we'll see Taylor Swift at Gillette Stadium on the 25th (the girls anyway), do a lot of visiting with family and friends, and then on the 30th we will pry Delaney away and take her back home.

Now we could all pat ourselves on the back for managing to keep this a surprise for at least 6 months.

And now I'll just share some more pictures from their visit, in no particular order:
There I am floating alongside them. How often do you see an adult on their back floating in the pool? It's the best feeling, especially since the water's been cooler than usual due to rain.
Digging for crabs
I love the photobombing waitress!
The afternoon/evening of July 4 was rainy so we stayed inside right up until it was 20 minutes from the time the fireworks were supposed to start. We got in the car and drove two minutes away to the same spot on the river we watched them from last time, then just kept waiting in the car until they started. Despite this being kind of dull as far as July 4 festivities go, everyone was in their red, white and blue and having a good time and being silly. Then we got out and watched the fireworks across the river, got back in the car and were home five minutes after they ended. Can't beat that.
Alexa!
On Sunday we walked to Mass and Tim Sr took lots more good pictures beforehand of us all looking nice.
Look at Tim back there, he's such a dork.:)
Then he sneaked some pictures during Mass, and Delaney later declared that to be "so disrespectful."
And one more "selfie" before heading back home.
The next morning was kind of rough when everyone left for the airport but me, Annie and Timmy. (Tim had to go away for work too.) See, ever since Friday night Annie had not given up on the idea that she ought to be going to Massachusetts with Delaney and them. We actually considered it, first back when we were in the planning stages many months ago. We decided then that she wasn't ready to be so far away from us and for so long, especially with her personality. Then on Friday night after she told her dad she really wanted to go, he started to feel bad and he called the airline and started figuring out what it would take to get her ticket changed. We talked about it some more and I really didn't feel good about it. We KNOW Delaney is ready for a trip like this, but with Annie we can only guess. It's one thing to be guessing when we're talking about an overnight stay or something in our own zipcode, but 1000 miles away in Massachusetts? Nuh-uh. If she were to get homesick, she would be miserable, everyone around her would be too, and we wouldn't be able to do a darn thing about it. So, with hearts heavy we told her that it wasn't going to happen.

She kept holding out hope, though, even packing her bag and standing on the sidewalk when they were all getting ready to go. It was really sad. She cried hard when they left. After I got her to come inside with me she kept crying on the bench and I tried to soothe her to no avail. Then I said, "I think you just need to be sad for awhile." I walked away and just started neatening up, not knowing what else to do. About an hour or so later I asked her if she wanted to make cookies with me. She brightened up right away. I think baking is her love language. We made the most delicious dark chocolate chip cookies, kept some for ourselves and brought the rest to the new neighbors. It ended up being a good day. And then today, besides waking up grumpy and staying in bed late (just to avoid us), she's been her usual self. 
On the agenda this week: school registration (2/3 of the way done as of today), lots of pool time, an OB appointment for me, probably dinner at Moe's on Thursday (when kids' meals are like a dollar), and whatever else we find for ourselves to do.

I'll leave you with one last picture that Tim took of our happy little traveler at the airport, wings and all.

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