The Little Golden Book advises to “keep in touch” and Maslow places social needs or feelings of belonging, smack in the middle of his self-actualizing pyramid. In the past, I was so busy in my nurturing role with my child and with my relationship, that I did not always “keep in touch” with non-immediate family- except for sending the yearly Christmas card.
With the help of technology (email, smart phones, and blogging), we can connect somewhat easier. However, it's still a challenge to make a call, write a letter and/or plan a visit. Sometimes before a visit is comfortable you still need the initial steps of keeping in touch.
This road trip weekend started out as a visit between my mother and her 91 year old sister who several years ago moved into a nursing home across the state. The weekend ended up blooming into connections with my cousin (my aunt’s son and daughter) their three children and spouses, and two new family additions (my aunt’s great grandchildren).
I was humbled that my cousin’s three children all made the effort to come into town to see my mother and me. Two of them had to drive over an hour since they lived out of state, and one made the effort even though she was very pregnant and had to make the trip with a toddler.
We just visited. We really had no real plans except to spend some time together. We talked a lot and seemed to eat a lot but that is what Italians do. I had a tear in my eye seeing my mom’s excitement when she saw her sister and how she enjoyed fixing her hair, doing her nails etc. The weekend was filled with even more joy during play time with the two year old, and with holding the three month old, new family additions.
To break out of our own “cocoons” might be difficult and takes time but sometimes when you do, you receive a lasting memory and/or growing friendship. This is definitely a good addition to my survival tool box.
I have no source for making watermelon man. You just have to have a creative mind and some artistic talent I guess.
Below submitted by Western cousin. Not sure there is artistic talent here but its a good try!