it’s a family affair: who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sunday, August 19:  Today my father and his wife Shirley, who I haven’t seen in a year, drive up from Yorktown to visit; my sister and her two kids, who I haven’t seen in over 2 years, drive from Salisbury, Maryland.  It’s wonderful to spend the afternoon with them, catching up on all our shenanigans from the last year (or two!).

Kelsey, Dad, Seth, Shirley & Joan

Sadly my sister from California and my brother in New Jersey aren’t able to make it.  Hopefully we can have a whole family reunion once I return to the USA!

Kelsey, me, Dad, Shirley, Seth and Joan

My daughter Sarah, who lives in Richmond and doesn’t have a car, wants to come to the gathering, so I dispatch my two sons on an expedition to drive 2 hours each way to pick her up.   I send them at 9 a.m. figuring they will arrive in Richmond at 11 a.m., get Sarah, and then turn around, returning by 1 p.m., when my dad and sister are due to arrive.

Seth, Adam and Alex ~ cousins 🙂

Well.  At some point along the way, the boys decide to make a stop to get something to eat.  I don’t know all the details of this detour, but somehow it ends up with them getting lost. I have no clue how this happens, as the route to Richmond from northern Virginia is a straight one, right down I-95.  As far as I can figure, it is impossible to get lost.   Whatever really happened, I may never know, but I do know they don’t arrive in Richmond until 12:30, an hour and a half behind schedule.

The cousins: Seth, Sarah, Adam, Kelsey and Alex
Kelsey, Sarah, Joan and me

Now for some odd reason, Sarah, despite having had until 12:30 to shower and get fully ready, doesn’t do so.  She calls from the car asking what time everyone is due to arrive because she will need to shower once she gets here!

the cousins and Kelsey’s car: Adam, Alex, Seth, Sarah and Kelsey

In addition to the delay because of the getting-lost-debacle, there is Sunday afternoon returning beach traffic to contend with.  What should have been a 2 hour return trip ends up being 4 hours, inching along as if they are sitting in a parking lot.  Traffic in northern Virginia, a huge suburb of Washington, D.C.,  is always horrible but rush hours and weekend incoming and outgoing traffic are atrocious.

the men and boys of the family, looking like the TV series The Pawn Stars!
Adam, Dad, Mike, Seth and Alex

We are all sitting around talking and laughing, and though I’m enjoying catching up, I’m also getting  impatient that my own children have acted so irresponsibly.  I figure my father has driven about 3 hours to get here, as has my sister, and they may not even get to see my children!!

In the meantime, my niece Kelsey, who recently completed her Master’s degree and works as a school counselor in Baltimore, Maryland, tells us about her upcoming wedding on July 13, 2013.

Kelsey, getting married next July 🙂

My nephew Seth is getting ready to embark on his college life at University of Maryland next week.

Seth with his sister and mom

My dad, who usually keeps busy multi-tasking with numerous house projects says he hasn’t felt like doing anything all summer because of the heat.  They tell how July in Virginia was one of the hottest on record, with temperatures and humidity hovering around 100 degrees and 100% humidity all month.

Dad and Shirley

My sister Joan recently embarked on a new full-time job which she enjoys; all these years she’s been job-sharing and only working part-time, so this career change is a bit of an adjustment.  I always enjoy Joan and her great sense of humor, mostly poking fun at herself.  She tells hilarious stories about her fiascos on the ski lift and snow skiing in general.  As we talk about the high cost of weddings these days, she tells the story of her wedding day when she didn’t have a going away outfit.  She remembers that I ran to the store and bought her whole outfit including the shoes.  Surprisingly, that’s the main thing she remembers about her wedding day.  It makes me happy that she remembers that nice thing I did for her when I can barely remember it myself!

My sister Joan. I’m the oldest, Stephanie (who lives in California) is second oldest, and Joan is the third.  She’s so much fun!

The boys were originally planning to make a vegan dinner for my family, which may have caused some consternation for my dad and the rest.  But since by 4:00 they are still on the road, Mike decides to grill some salmon to go with a vegetable pasta salad he has made.  At 4:45 or so, we all eat dinner and still the boys and Sarah haven’t shown up.  Everyone plans to leave around 5:00 to give themselves time to drive back home.  Since by 5:00 my children are still not here, everyone lingers a little longer.  Finally, at about 5:10, Alex, Adam and Sarah arrive.  Sarah has her dog Bagel in tow and looks a little bedraggled as she didn’t shower or dress up.  She runs upstairs to change and then we all finally are able to visit together for a short time before everyone has to leave!

my three children and Sarah’s dog Bagel

Motherhood!  Isn’t it true that “the first 40 years of parenthood are always the hardest”?

And, I’m baffled:  “Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom??”

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16 thoughts on “it’s a family affair: who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

  1. loved the recount of your time with your family. Be happy you have one Cathy. I missed that part of my life. I thank GOD for my family of friends. But FAMILY in the traditional sense….NOT EVEN CLOSE!

    1. Thanks Chetan! I was really happy we were able to get together this year, since I only saw my dad and Shirley when I was home between Korea and Oman. Sadly I still won’t get to see Rob or Stephanie. I AM really thankful to have my family: my siblings, niece & nephew, and Dad and my children and husband (even though we’re still separated, we remain friends and co-parents!). I know you don’t have traditional family, buy you are rich with friends! 🙂

  2. Hehe – people remember the oddest things and what they get up to, who knows 🙂 Looks like everyone had a great time, though. Grrr @ traffic.

    1. Yes, isn’t it crazy, Marco, how people remember things you don’t remember at all and you remember things other people don’t remember? It’s always like that when I get together with old friends and family; their memories and my memories of events fit together like interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to create a picture of the event. Yes, traffic in northern VA is horrendous. That’s one thing I don’t miss about being home!!

      1. At this point I have absolutely no plans! It’s actually kind of a relief. I’m sure I will come up with something. Sadly, my time here is coming to an end. I leave for Oman on Tuesday night… 😦 But then, immediately to Greece!

  3. well, that was an interesting journey. I saw your like on my blog (thanks!) which reminded me I wanted to look at your photos of the Alhambra. then getting there I realize that I had already looked at the photos but they’re all so fabulous that I look again. I didn’t get a chance to comment and here I am again, wandered far off from where I started. but that is the internet for you and my less than focused brain tonight 😉 so I saw a link to this blog and here I am enjoying lovely photos of your family. what fun!! hope you’re having a nice evening 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for skipping around and finding the different parts of my crazy existence, Toby! Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I’m starting classes this week and have so much preparation to do, I can’t keep up with blogs and comments. It’ll take me a while to catch up.

      So glad you liked my pics of the Alhambra!

      1. ha ha, I wasn’t notified that you had replied so I came to look and here was a reply!! no worries. I understand being busy. so no worries! I wish I had more time to peruse blogs. I squeeze it in here and there. another reason I can’t wait to retire: I have too much blogging to do!! 🙂 Enjoy being back in classes.

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