Back at the start of April, my Aunt Debby flew to Phoenix with her mom and three sisters to visit a cousin of theirs. She invited us to come spend an afternoon at the hotel pool with her and her sisters while they were in town. I have to tell you that it was such a special experience for me.
As soon as Aunt Debby greeted me with a hug, it was one smile after another that I was tucking away in my heart. Perhaps I’m emoting too much over one small visit (as I’m very often prone to over-emote), but I just hope to somehow capture what I was feeling by writing this blog post.
I felt welcomed by open arms. Aunt Debby immediately began helping me and caring for the kids while connecting with them on their level. Even her sisters jumped in. I had only met one of them before, but since they are veteran grandmas/aunts, relating to my kids and relishing in their childish delights came as naturally as breathing. I could see grandmothering woven into the very fabric of who they all four are. It was gorgeous!
The pool was beautiful, and Silas took to it right away. Cooper struggled at first, but ended up loving it and wanting to stay swimming long after Silas was done. Brynn fussed and fussed, but she loved splashing her feet in the water and was finally won over.
We soaked in the afternoon sun, and caught up on family news while snacking in the grass poolside. When it came time to clean up, I felt a sense of belonging I hadn’t felt in a while. It seems silly to feel so deeply about sharing toiletries in my aunt’s hotel room, but it meant someone was caring for me. In that moment, it was okay that I wasn’t self-sufficient. It was okay that someone else was feeding my baby so I could take a shower. It was okay to just be accepted.
Then we met Stephen at Pizzeria Bianco to introduce Aunt Debby to the best pizza we’ve had yet. I tried the Wise Guy pie with no sauce, fennel sausage, cheese, and onions. So good!
I drove Aunt Debby back to her hotel, and before we said our goodbyes, we spent some time praying for one another. A fitting ending for such a dear memory that I’ll treasure.