June 3, 2012

ʻOhana - Family (MI Part 2)

If you've seen the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch, then you already know that "ʻOhana  means family." We actually didn't watch it until after we arrived, although it was a travel present on our roadtrip.

One of the hardest things about moving far away is being further from family. However, our trip to Michigan surprised me in the quality of family time that you get by being in close quarters. Previous to moving, our time with either side of the family was a few times a month for a meal or to celebrate a birthday. It was always a quick flurry of activity, usually spent watching the kids playing and a short time to catch up. Pretty exhausting!

In spending these longer times together, I'm coming to appreciate the depth of relationship it brings. The kids calm down after a day or two of seeing cousins. The adults get past superficial catch up and can enjoy real conversation. Grandparents get a true slice of the kids' lives as they go through their daily schedules. And there is time to hang out after the kids go to bed.

Here are some fun things you can do with your cousins:
Play dress up

Watch movies in your pjs

And just be silly!

It reminded me of the week I would spend with my maternal grandparents every summer. Since they lived further away, I didn't see them as often. But I looked forward to the week at the cottage every year. It was a relaxed time, swimming in the lake, picking fruit at local farms and reading on the porch.

That extended time allowed me to get to know my grandparents in a different way than my paternal grandparents, whom I saw every week. And because of that time, both sets were just as close in my heart.

No matter where we live, I hope that my children have the same feelings for their ʻohana.

Tea time!

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