I put away Aunt Jenn's bed tonight. She left Monday evening, but I we've all been in a bit of denial, so I left the futon all made up as if she might need it again in the next day or so. Eli came into the office and said, "Where is Aunt Jenn's bed?" I didn't think he'd notice, since it's been a "couch" for much longer than it's ever been a "bed".
We prepped Eli the day Aunt Jenn left that when he woke up from his nap, she would be on an airplane. That evening, while we were in his room, we heard a helicopter flying. I asked him, "Eli, do you hear that? What is it?" He said, "It's a helicoptor! Aunt Jenn is flying on a helicopter!!"
We were thrilled to have Aunt Jenn come for a visit last week. It all came about rather quickly, but it's a trip we've been hoping for for a long time. She met Beckett, and he offered up some of his intoxicating little smiles. She and Eli read books together, he recited some Curious George, and she got to see how much he truly enjoys the library she has sent him over his two short years. We packed in a trip to the Magic House and zoo, church, the "breakfast store", an evening with the Maples, and still had time to relax at the house.
I was just so thankful to have her here. She loves her nephews, studies their personalities, delights in them, laughs with them. She is funny, kind, creative, thoughtful and easy to be around. And there are plenty of other reasons to be thankful. I am thankful that someone from Joel's family could see his life here in St. Louis. I am thankful for the conversations he and Jenn got to have. I am thankful for the fresh perspective that comes from looking at our life through someone else's eyes- my marriage, family, community, and home are true blessings. Sometimes, it's easy for me to lose sight of those everyday blessings.