This weekend, we did something I have always wanted to do with The Bean. Did we go to England and sleep in a castle? I wish...but no. Did we drive across the country in an RV? Still no. Did we go to the Arctic and see a snowy owl in the wild? A dream come true...but no. We went to GramBarbs, had a sleepover, and spent two days baking Christmas cookies. It was awesome!
I have dreams of giving my bean these cliche Hallmark family Christmas memories. In my reality, often this isn't possible. Mostly, it is just the three of us hanging out, acting like our goonie selves, and being content. However, there is a longing in her to have a huge extended family who plays games, bakes together, has parties, and loves each other unconditionally. This desire usually comes to light during the holiday season. In recent years, we have spent Christmas Eve with my Aunt Kelly and Uncle Brian, my gorgeous cousin Camilla, with Bubba and Pap, and our GramBarb if she is in the area. Obviously, this isn't going to happen this year. Thanks again, Covid.
However, GramBarb has moved back to the area, and we are able to spend more time together. Before Thanksgiving, we planned our Giant Colossal Christmas Cookie Baking Extravaganza. This weekend, we made it happen. There was a bit of a snafu on Saturday. I took my big red B-dog for a walk, and he took off into the woods after a bird...insert irritated eye roll. That made me almost two hours later than planned. I forgot my cookie trays, my cookie cutters, and a few ingredients in my rush to get there. However, GramBarb lives very handy to civilization, and I just bought a few cookie cutters and ingredients from the store. Once I got there, we turned on the Christmas music, we stirred, whisked, whipped, and baked. The Bean did more dancing than baking, but she makes things lively. We just talked and laughed about anything and everything, all the while making cookies and, hopefully, memories.
My mother-in-law is very easy for me to be around. I enjoy her quite a bit and have come to think of her as more than just a mother-in-law. She is also an amazingly strong female figure to have in my bean's life. I came to the realization that we won't ever have that huge extended family life filled with gatherings and happiness. Still, we are pretty damn fortunate to have the positive, amazing people in our lives that create our extended family. Many of whom are no blood relation at all. I also realize family is what you make of it. Often, we have no say in the relatives we receive at birth. However, the family we gather along the way throughout life is often filled with stronger bonds and more love than blood ties could provide.
I hope my bean picks up on this life lesson and appreciates all those who we have come to consider family. Life isn't perfect for anyone, and that's okay. You're either going to be a sour puss, or you're going to make lemonade. It's up to you what you do with it. I hope she always chooses to make lemonade.
As always, dear reader, stay safe, stay smart; I hope you too choose to make lemonade, and of course, wash those hands.