James’ SLO Life…Far Away Family

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Since moving up here to SLO, I’ve grown up, made new friends, started a family, and bought a house.  The one thing that I am sad about leaving and cannot replace is my parents.  In my youth, I never would have thought I would miss them so much. I know it’s as hard for them to be 4 hours away from their grand kids as it is for me to have my kids 4 hours away from them. They grow so fast that every time my folks see their grand kids, they have changed so much. I feel fortunate to have grown up so near my grandparents that I knew them very well and was a normal thing to see them.  Every time my or my wife’s parents visit, it is a big deal and we go crazy to make sure the house is cleaned to an unrealistic(for having kids) state just to be back in disarray after 2 hours. Not that I’m complaining, because my kids enjoy their time with their grandparents and it allows my wife and I to have date nights and work on house projects while our kids are being entertained.

Today is Memorial Day and we have a rare instance where my folks and my wife’s mom were visiting at the same time.  All the stress of getting the house ready was nothing once they walked through the door and my daughter’s eyes light up and she yells, “BACHAN!”(Japanese for grandma). When they are here, it is almost like my wife and I don’t exist. My daughter is outside with my dad looking at our garden and my son is being held by my mother and I am left free to deal with the barbecue and my missing eyebrows. Food’s ready.

After we ate, I am looking around my living room at all the activity going on and think to myself how lucky I really am. My daughter has now showered and is climbing all over her granddad while my son is playing peek-a-boo with his Bachan. Tomorrow, the wife and I will be doing yard work that has been put off and finally go see a movie together. It is always the trick when parents are in town to maximize visiting time with the opportunity to go do things we can’t normally do with kids. It is now bed time for the kids and chaos has overtaken the calm and serene scene that once occupied my living room and my parents have pulled away into the corners of the room while my wife gets the kids together while I help in between key strokes. And even in this moment, I am grateful about the short time we all have together while my kids are young enough to still want to hang around with us old folks.  Now to continue my battle trying to convince my parents to move up to our paradise of a county, San Luis Obispo, so they won’t have to drive up 4 hours to see their wonderful grand kids.

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