Today I am grateful for a son and a nephew that are not just cousins, but are the best of friends. It has been a blessing to have someone for Zach to grow up with that is close in age as the next youngest sibling is 5 years older and the oldest is twice his age. Having Mitchell around, especially when all the kids were home only added to the mayhem we called home. When you have 5 kids, what’s one more? And then add their friends … ya, it was chaos, but it was our amazingly fun chaos. Dinner conversations were sillier with the younger ones around and they only added to the mix with food and noises. Summer time fires out back and they would roast marshmallows and be so tired and fall asleep so we would carry them inside and tuck them in. Birthdays were great because they loved to help open gifts and blow out candles and eat cake and ice cream. Watching them find Easter eggs always was just filled with laughter and joy. Whatever big present Zach got for Christmas, Mitchell did as well so we could all enjoy them together. This past year is the first one we couldn’t figure out a gift they would both like after 13 years.
The sampling of pictures below are only a few of ones we have of the two of them together. They have shared all the holidays, school vacations (sometimes for the whole week), summer camping trips and sleepovers all throughout the year. It was so much fun to set up a pop up tent in our living room so they could “pretend” to have a camp out when they were little. They liked to jump on the trampoline with all the other kids at 5 and 6am on the weekends. They enjoyed more jumping off the bunk beds in the house and pretending they could fly. Whatever game they could play outside was almost always brought inside much to the demise of our house. It has been a joy to watch them grow and mature and support one another in the sports they play. They are funny when they are together, they are adventurous, they are kind to one another and they share friends. They don’t go to the same school, but when they want to be together it’s all good if other kids are there and they both have wonderful friends.
They shared our wedding and were the cutest ring bearers you ever saw. When we all sat down to watch the video of the ceremony we busted out laughing as the boys were caught throwing their pillows around on the side of the alter while vows were being said. That day and all the fun they had before the wedding at Aunt Paula’s house, getting ready with all the boys and adults, during the ceremony and the reception are probably the most special memories I hold close and I am so thankful we have photos and videos.
These are all memories to be cherished as it seems before our eyes they went from diapers to teenagers and I still am not sure how it happened. Next year they will be Freshman in high school and they will begin that path to adulthood with girls, cars, proms, diplomas and colleges. I am more than thankful that I’ve been able to be such a big part of Mitchell’s growing up. I am more than blessed to know that he is a huge part of who we are as a family and that all the kids think of him as the “6″ of them and not just the 5.
For now I will keep the memories close and remember to live in the moment as these next years are going to fly right by and I am thinking we will have to be holding on to our seats because it will be not just one but both of them. Double trouble. Fun trouble I am sure. We’ve joked about it for years that when the driving begins and there are any calls that have to be made, well, they better call Uncle Peter first.
I couldn’t be happier, prouder or love them more than I do. I am so grateful to be a Mom to Zach and an Auntie to Mitchell and that we have had the best of times for 13 years sharing in all the joy (and dirt, bugs, frogs and mischief) that boys bring.