We’re alive, we did it, and we have the fruitcake to prove it

I drove 300 miles yesterday on one tank of gas.

Yes, I’m tired. No, I’m not crazy. We had good reasons for everything.

The Webmaster’s family (parents, aunts, uncle, grandmother) all live in the same town about 150 miles away from us. In normal traffic, it usually takes us 2 and a half hours. Add an extra half hour to an hour to that because people in this state do not know how to merge, and you get us showing up late to Thanksgiving dinner.

We got to his parents’ house at 1:15 pm, with dinner starting at 1 pm. However, dinner was not at his parents’, it was at his aunt’s home (3 minutes away). We needed to stop there first to change diapers and let me nurse Baby Boy. We arrived at the actual family gathering at about 1:30-ish.

The kids were a hit. This was the first time everyone had gotten to meet Baby Boy, except for his grandparents and one of the Webmaster’s cousins, and everyone got a chance to hold him and gush over his adorableness. He took a nap on Grandpa during the Denver-Dallas football game. Grandpa is an incurable Broncos fan, having grown up in Colorado. Denver won, which made him happy.

The Munchkin got to play with her second cousin D., the only other kid there. D. is going to be five in a few days, and he has gotten really tall and much more friendly since we last saw him (which I think was last Christmas). The best part was that he was willing to play with the Munchkin, and his mother (the Webmaster’s closest-in-age first cousin) had brought some toys that D. had outgrown and she wanted to give to the Webmaster’s parents to keep for the Munchkin (and eventually Baby Boy) to play with when visiting. So the two kids played with the toys, and generally entertained each other.

The most memorable moment of the day was when we introduced Baby Boy to his great-grandmother. She is 91 years old, and has been in frail (but stable) health since the Munchkin was born. Probably even before that, but the first time we took the Munchkin to visit, Great-Grandmother was hospitalized, trying to recover from a bad bout of stomach flu. She now lives in an assisted-care facility, right across the street from one of her daughters (the aunt who was hosting Thanksgiving dinner), which is also a block away from the florist where the Webmaster’s mother works. So the daughters see her every day, and the facility is a good environment for her.

The Webmaster’s aunt (the youngest of the three sisters and D.’s grandma) claimed Baby Boy first and sat down next to Great-Grandmother to introduce him to her. Great-Grandmother started raving about him. “Look at how big he is!” she said to me. “Look at those cheeks, and those eyes – what a handsome boy!”

And as she spoke, and let him grasp one of her fingers in his chubby little fist, tears welled up in her eyes.

She is in her twilight years, and we all know it. She was treasuring every second of meeting her baby great-grandson. She got a huge kick out of the Munchkin and D. pushing her walker around the house, too. She was just happy to have everyone around.

And while watching her, I was thankful that we had made the effort to come. Yes, it was 300 miles round trip in one day (the Munchkin will not sleep anywhere but her own crib – we’ve tried and failed, so we needed to come home in the same day). Yes, both traffic and weather were awful. Yes, I came home with a fruitcake, much to the Webmaster’s disgust (I like fruitcake, he doesn’t). But we did it, and I am glad we did.

Not that I want to do it again next weekend, though.

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