Not everyone can say they get excited for their in-laws to come visit. I am blessed to say that I do! We always have such a good time together. We laugh, play games, have a few drinks, and enjoy each other’s company. Although living far from family is hard, it helps us appreciate the time we do spend together.
Arya spent most of her first year seeing her Gigi, PopPop, auntie, and uncle everyday. They were just as important to her daily routine as I am. After being apart from them for 3 months, I wasn’t sure how she would react when she saw them again. As they got out of the car, Arya stood on the driveway in what appeared to be disbelief. Could it really be them?!
When the reality set in, the joy and excitement could not be contained. There is nothing cuter than seeing my daughter lock eyes with her Gigi and PopPop after months apart. Between the laughs and cuddles, it is obvious having the family together is Arya’s favorite thing. The mornings turned from crying as I leave for work, to laughing and not noticing I’m gone.
Our family keeps her entertained when she needs it most. The extra eyes allow her to be more independent while she plays and explores. Having the family together makes going out with a baby easier too. They say it takes a village and our family is my village.
Family Through my Daughter’s Eyes
Family has always been important to me, but viewing family through my daughter’s eyes brings a new perspective. Our family is Arya’s whole world. They are the people that she knows, trusts, and relies on. Family is who she seeks when she feels excited, unsure, or scared. We are the first ones to teach her about the world and help build her confidence. My sisters and moms are her role models. My husband, brothers, and dads are her protectors. Having a big family on both sides is even more rewarding, now that I have a daughter.
We realize Arya might not have had these strong relationships if Ryan would not have been deployed. Arya and I spent 8 months in MN with family while Ryan was overseas. It was hard putting our life on hold even when trying to make the most of it. One thing that is for sure, it was the best thing for Arya. The quality time with both sides of her family created a lasting impression. This gives us a silver lining looking back on one of the hardest times of our life. The love Arya has for her family is undeniable.
Family is forever. This value is in my daughter’s heart now and I hope it is forever.