Last January, my sister and her entire family came to the province to help me out. Joshua needed distraction from my pregnancy and childbirth… and cousins are great sources of distraction! It was 10 days of bonding and 10 days of character building!
Monique, my twin sister has 4 children. Her eldest girl, Sabrina, is 12 years old. Next are 3 boys — Matthew, JD, and Ezra. The great thing with them was that they could stay long with us because they are all home schooled. School follows the student and not the other way around!
The house was a riot. I really appreciated my husband because he allowed the kids to make a mess out of the house. Joshua had swimming mates in the pool. Usually he does not like having other people share his swimming pool. This was good for him. There were alot of laughing and alot of crying. There were lots of negotiation and also moments of time outs… For Joshua it was learning to SHARE, saying “can I borrow?” and learning to let go and move on to another toy.
Joshua learned to lend all his toys. I saw him cope when his cousins invaded his space. He took his favorite toys in the baby’s room so he could have alone time with it. I also saw Joshua get into the mode of showing off everything he had. He would bring his play doh then after going through it all, he would excitedly bring out the next toy. His cousins also had taught him different styles of negotations. Like when one gets a toy and the other does not want to share and starts whining, one must find another toy in exchange for that favored toy. It was watching the very principle of barter trade — toddler style!
I guess what I loved the most in bonding moments like these are the growing fondness to one another and the building of friendship. Relationships are built through time. We have to invest in new memories. I am so thankful that my dear sister and her husband make family time a priority.
I got time to bond with my sister which is precious because I live miles away from her. They did not fuss that they did not see any tourist sites when they were here. Spending time with me and my family were more important to them. I am so blessed by their generous and service oriented hearts because they made themselves available for us.
Family is a gift from the Lord! Time is a gift from God! We must intentionally invest in them.