Bob's nephew and his wife and four month old came to our house on Thursday afternoon. I just love seeing a hands-on dad!!! I can't help but crow about it. Bob's nephew is a tall, tall guy. And he has big hands, and to see him holding, hugging, juggling, their little baby girl is so fun!!! This baby is going to be used to the deep voice of her daddy. And the sweet, sweet family time. Baby Karen gave us all a scare at her beginning. She was a month early, and spent eight days in the hospital---which seemed like a month, and you'd never know it now as her momma's milk must be straight cream. Baby Karen smiles, and listens with her eyes, and was so centent yesterday afternoon to just lay on the floor and wave her arms and legs and be close to her daddy.
And I must recommend to my friends and relatives to entertain missionaries in your home---as I got to ask him all my questions, and hear all about their adventures in training and travelling so far. Once they have their support lined up, which includes a year of travelling to sending churches, they will fly to Indonesia to be missionaries there with NTW.
We attended their wedding May 2008, and met Bob's nephew's wife at the wedding. Best to introduce brides to our huge, crazy, spread out family at the wedding...too late to back out. I am sure our newest daughter-in-law thinks we are just pulling more relatives out of the woodwork, but we can't wait for our newlyweds to meet these cousins---as it has been at least eight or ten years since our sons have seen this nephew. And it has been so fun to hear more details about how they met, and their courtship, and wedding near Atlanta. We merely showed up as guests, and it has been fun getting all the details.
Ben-Ben, our youngest came over last night, and we all went to Cracker Barrel. I don't think Ben had seen his cousin since the last family reunion in Kansas City when the youngest cousin at that time was in a stroller...and now he just graduated from high school...
It felt good to laugh last night. Laugh at the old family stories, and laugh as their four month old got pounded on the back. It is just hard for guys over six feet tall to be gentle. Everything about them is big---their voice, their heart, and the contrast with this little bitty baby girl---who obviously relishes her parents, and is thriving in a wonderful way herself, is marvelous to see. My parents' generation had defined roles, where it seemed rare to see a hands-on dad. Bob changed his share of diapers and enjoyed our boys as babies, but this next generation, my sons' generation of dads are very hands-on, bathing and holding, and burping and putting their babies to sleep as well as hauling and serving their wife. It is so good to see because I know the little girls---our granddaughter, and this little great niece, as well as the little great nephews we have seen--are going to be so well-rounded, and know that they are loved.
And I can't keep quiet. I have to warn this new generation of parents to enjoy every moment because it flies by. And before you know it, the babies fly from the nest to start new families of their own.
So, we have been blessed this weekend. Bob's nephew will speak at our church on Sunday. And I hope they will get to come back through here a few more times before heading overseas. It is going to be so fun watching this new adventure for them and watch their little baby girl grow. She will probably speak three or four languages, and like her other first cousins, see more of the world and tromp through tropical jungles as her playground.