Sunday, July 06, 2008

21 Days of Gratitude: Day 15

Fourth of July this year was relaxing and way fun. I honestly don't remember what we did last year, if we did anything at all. Gareth and I watched fireworks the night before, which makes a lot more sense to me. Fortunately, this year July 4 fell on a Friday, but in years when it fell during the middle of the week, I always thought the late night fireworks should be done the night before since there's no work the next day. Kind of like New Year's Eve. I think there should be 4th of July Eve. Or make the day off July 5th rather than July 4th, since most people celebrate in the evening. Anyway, I digress.

My parents organized another gathering at the park, and like the picnic for Memorial Day, Gareth and I were responsible for the games. Water balloons were a big hit last time, so we loaded up again. We played the balloon toss game where you partner up then toss the ball then step back and get further and further apart with each toss. It's a silly but thrilling game because each toss could be the last and you could be a wet loser.

I love spending time with my nieces and nephews, and this post is about them, and how grateful I am to have them in my life. We had my brothers' kids, Jaylen, Jonah, Andrew and Aubrey and we had my cousin's girls Alexis and Nikka. Aubrey's my little princess, but I have a soft spot for all my nieces. At two years old, Aubrey still says too little, would rather point or have me guess what she wants. But she can sure let her frustration be known. When we were playing with bubbles and some of the bubble soap dripped on her hand, she muttered, "Dammit." I tried not to smile when I reprimanded her, but it was hard.

I had fun talking with Alexis and Nikka who've moved on (for now) from the Harry Potter series to the Twilight series. However, Harry Potter still made its way into the conversation when we sighed about how the boy who played Cedric Diggory in HP plays Edward. Jaylen contributed to our conversation by belching his way through his ABCs on a dare.

I learned with every generation, the opportunity to laugh at parents is a great bonding experience. Grace, Nikka's mom and Alexis' stepmom, saw us eating Gobstoppers and pounced on them, "Ooh! Gobstoppers! Is it gums?" That's almost as good as my mom offering us pistachio nuts by saying, "Here hab some pitashios!"

We didn't have as many nieces and nephews gathered this time as we did on Memorial Day but we still had tons of fun. Unfortunately we didn't have any cameras for this holiday (Doh!) but we were in the same exact spot and most of the kids we got to play with on the 4th are in this pic, except for Alexis who was traded for brother Maize for the rest of the summer.

For the amusement they bring, the opportunity to wonder at the world through their eyes and for the love they share, I am so grateful for these kids, and so proud to be their Tita Em.

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