Sometimes we get a timely reminder of just how blessed we are in family.
It's not just Grandma and Grandpa. who are the most perfect of parents and grandparents, loving and generous, and ALWAYS there when you need them.
It's not just R-- and J--, the best brother and sister-in-law you could begin to imagine.
It's not just our marvelous collection of nieces and nephews, whom we love to pieces. Or our amazing aunt and uncle.
Or the Grams I was lucky to have in my life for almost 50 years, the bravest, kindest, best woman ever.
We also have a bunch of rockin' cousins, multiple generations of lovely people, and two sets of those cousins have recently been very good to us.
The funny thing is, these two sets of the cousins have the same initials -- the women are J and then men are B -- and I don't feel like making up names, so I will just call them who they are.
First, about a week ago, we received, without warning, a large package in the mail from cousins Bruce and Jill, and their son Matthew. It was addressed to Benjy, who went bonkers when he saw it.
"It's for ME??? What do you think it is?"
"Ben," I said, laying my hand on his head to steady him. "I don't think you should get quite so excited. I think it's clothes." (Bruce and Jill have kept Benjy in clothes for, oh, the last eight or nine years. They have saved us probably thousands of dollars. And the clothes are BEAUTIFUL, far, far nicer than what he would get if I were buying them!)
Ben ignored me and grabbed my keys to slice open the box.
"Benjy, it's clothes."
He gave me a hurt look.
He began to murmur, "Please don't let it be clothes. Please don't let it be clothes." I don't know what he was hoping for -- a remote control mac truck?
What was in the box was -- as expected -- a bounty of beautiful clothes. I jumped up and down with excitement. And Benjy was excited too, once he saw all the cool T-shirts. He knows a good thing when he sees it.
The second cousin-gift came from Bob and Joan. They are really my mother's first cousins. I'm not sure what that makes their relationship to me, beyond beloved. (First cousin once removed??)
Anyway, Bob and Joan took Lars and me out last night to a lovely Italian restaurant in the South End of Boston. They picked us up and whisked us away, and the evening involved wine and papardelle with lamb ragu and caesar salad, not necessarily in that order. But the best thing the evening afforded was great conversation. Actually, this was a night of some of our greatest pleasures, good food and good conversation. It felt wonderful to get away (eating out has not really been a part of our lives for quite some time) and especially to go into Boston. We've not lived in the city since Benjy started kindergarten, and we miss it. So this was SUCH a treat!
I think to an extent this blog is bringing all of us together in wonderful ways. Apparently Bruce and Jill read in an earlier post how much we appreciate that they've clothed Ben with Matthew's old stuff for so many years. This reminded them that they had a bunch of clothes for us and probably wouldn't see us for some time. So they popped them in the mail. And Bob and Joan have been keeping abreast of our lives and adventures through the blog too -- and I think they simply realized that a night out with them would be a wonderful gift to us.
This brings me back to how damn lucky we are in our family... for all that's been unbearable in our lives, I wouldn't be anyone else, ever, because that would mean being connected to different people.
Thanks, Bob and Joan and Bruce and Jill! We love you guys!