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I just returned after spending a few days at my cabin in the mountains with 20+ family and future family members. My oldest daughter and her family also have a cabin so we had ample sleeping spaces and bathrooms. The cabins are a great place to spend a few days during Christmas break: skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and they are centrally located. The teenagers and their parents stayed in Candi’s cabin, and the five young ones (1-7) and their parents in mine. It was a marvelous, noisy, chaotic, enriching couple of days.
Slight divergence – The people in my cabin are either a future branch on my family tree or I’ll be a branch on theirs. Here’s the connection (it may take a diagram) the four adults are the son and daughter, with spouses, of my Step-daughter Tawnya’s fiancé Kevin. Question sports fans, how will we be related after the wedding? There’s the “Step” to Tawnya; the “in-“ (son-in-law) to Kevin; and another “Step-” to his kids, and their kids. Being a retired engineer, I favored a mathematical solution of “(in-) (step)2”. Alaina came up with the more poetic, “step-by-step”. Someone else suggested the general term “kin” to simplify the matter.
Back to the richness of the two days – There were some down sides. For instance with that many small children, it seemed like somebody was crying about half of the time: hurt feelings, minor bumps and bruises, diapers needing changed, etc. There were amusing events. One of the toddlers (surely destined to be an electronic genius) had a major fascination with buttons on the TV and stereo. At one point he reprogrammed the TV to operate in Spanish, until Alaina recalled enough from high school to decipher the on-screen instructions and deprogram it. Later our little genius found a way to turn on the stereo and instantly crank it up to Metallica concert volume. Too bad there wasn’t snow on the roof that needing fluidized. There was entertainment. The oldest (7) of the “little kids” and the youngest (11) of the “teens” created a variety show, complete with tickets and programs, that included gymnastics, dance, and a magic kid transformation box trick. My two best “take-aways” were the pure “life energy” of the event and getting to know these “kin”. They are no longer just names. Now they have histories; they went to the same high school and at the same time as my sons, though different graduating years and different social circles. They have futures, such as new jobs. They are now family.
The Grandchildren we are trying to make a better world for are not a nameless, faceless “they”. They are specific people. They are Brittany and Brycen, Ezra and Zoe, and all of the other individual Grandkids in the world. They deserve our best effort.