We recently returned from an epic vacation. We first flew to New York for a friend’s wedding then hopped down to Cat Island, The Bahamas for my brother’s wedding. We took Edie to the Museum of Natural History, into the pool for her first time, into the ocean for a few tearful moments and across her first international border.
But the memories we’ll most cherish are the ones made spending time with family.
I didn’t grow up near my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins, and we visited them only rarely. Even though we see each other a little more often now, I still feel as if I missed out on forging those close relationships when I was young.
It’s even more special, then, that Edie gets to see her relatives. I’m grateful that the far-flung Ryan clan is a part of her life already.
While we were in New York, we spent some time sightseeing and revisiting our favorite places from when Eric and I lived there. We also spent hours hanging out in my sister, brother and sister-in-law’s apartment in Williamsburg.
Hitting the tourist attractions is fun, but reading books on the couch, making faces at each other and running errands together is the stuff of regular life. That makes those ordinary moments significant: They bring us closer to our loved ones in their natural, everyday state.
On the other hand, there’s nothing ordinary about a stay in the tropics. But Edie did get to spend time with her extended family there, too.
She hung out in the shade with Grandma and Grandpa while Eric and I kayaked, snorkeled and swam. (THANK YOU!) Grandma stayed in her room while Edie napped to give me the opportunity to eat lunch and play games with friends. And the wedding guests snagged chances here and there to bounce, tickle and snuggle her. Edith was thrilled with the attention and love.
My sister Amy and her husband Luke weren’t able to stay as long as the rest of us, but Aunt Amy wasted no time in getting her Edith fix. I always want to hang close to the two of them because Amy is so musical: I could use a few updates to my own repertoire of songs.
I’m lucky to be a part of such a loving family—one that just grew to add the newest member, my beautiful sister-in-law Andrea. Edie is surrounded by people who adore her. I can think of no better gift.