I love seeing the cousins reunite, always tentative at first. How does one act around the relatives that we only see every few years? The knowledge that love is present and undeniable ultimately trumps the awkwardness that they feel, which lasts for all of thirty minutes.They enter the surf, connecting with the common goal of mastering the waves despite the unusual sensation of balancing on their feet as the sand evaporates beneath their toes, threatening an embarrassing fall in front of these forever friends.
"No. But that was the funniest thing I ever heard! Chloe just got him good!"
Ah. Sibling rivalry at it's finest. But Jay is still smiling, a good sport, willing to keep hanging with these cousin friends, knowing that he'll have a turn to jag back at some point. Sarcasm will find it's way through.
Then there's Chloe. My first and only spunky niece. She stole my heart the day I met her, just a few short weeks after she was born. When she was five, she gave me an amber colored plastic gemstone while we played makeup, much to her father's chagrin. I promised her I would carry it with me forever, in my makeup bag, to always remember her.
Ah. My big brother.
Outnumbered by their offspring, my parents just sit back on this trip, soaking in the sun and basking in watching the interaction between "the fruit of their loins," as my brother so eloquently states.
"I am so happy."
Sometimes the fewest, simplest words are best.
In the end, when I really think about it, I don't hate that my brother's family lives so far away. In retrospect, I actually love it. Because when we are together, we relish in every single moment. I closed my eyes often on this trip, remembering a feeling, hearing everyone in the room laughing at Mr. Lost Cookie Boy, or the exchange between uncle and niece as he blows wind.
"You know Chloe, everyone farts."
"Sheesh, Uncle Tony! I know that, but you don't have to be so LOUD about it!" She shakes her head in disgust, and rolls her eyes. "Ugh. Chicago people."
And I can't wait...I simply cannot wait, to be with them again.