While we were in Florida, the six of us were together nearly 24 hours a day. We traveled in a roomy, but crowded Yukon. We slept in ONE hotel room. We ate every meal together. We played at the pool and at the beach together.
I worried a little before we left that after two whole weeks of togetherness, someone would have a meltdown and want to run screaming out of the car. That didn't happen. Instead, what DID happen, was that we got used to each other's little quirks. We had inside jokes that even if I tried to explain no one would ever understand. We could tell when one or two of us were getting sick of the togetherness and somehow effortlessly shift the seating/sleeping arrangements so that everything went back to neutral.
It was truly a happy surprise and a huge blessing.
Last Sunday in church, a very sweet woman who is new in our ward spoke about families and personal revelation and prayer and a whole lot of other things I love to learn about. She said that their little family, no matter the size of the house or the space available to them, can always be found within 5 feet of each other. They just always gravitate to one another. I loved that. And I hoped with her that as her children get older they always love to be physically close to one another.
And then I thought about our two weeks of Florida togetherness and realized that we have been home for almost two weeks and we are all still together. No one retreated to their personal space just because it was available. They all still just want to hang out with us in the living room or in the kitchen.
Last Wednesday, all three of my girls plus a friend stayed up until 2:30am chatting in my bedroom and then just piled blankets on the floor and slept there. On Sunday night, Savannah stayed up late to help Megan figure out her new freshman schedule and map out a route to all of her classes. Last night, Savannah came home from her second long day of school and then work and didn't head straight upstairs. She climbed into my lap (yep...right in my lap) and told me how tired she was and then perked up when she remembered a handful of small but great things that had happened during the day. Emma got McKay a snack after school. McKay waited until his sisters came home before he went out to find his friends after his first of school on Monday.
They're small things, but they're a pretty big deal, I think.
Because...in a few short years, these kids will be leaving this safe little nest we've made for them and flying out on their own. Distractions will come. Jobs and school will keep them busy. They won't have constant contact with us or with their siblings. And oh, how we want them to learn to love each other and be friends now so they will continue to have that bond when they're older.
I'm so happily content tonight thinking about how much that little Florida vacation did to tie all of us together emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and to help us remember how much we genuinely LIKE each other.