Heidi and I grew up surrounded by family. Within a couple miles there were two uncles, two aunts, grandparents, cousins and our beloved neighbors who were part of our extended family. Uncle Jim lived within a bike ride’s distance from the house and as long as there was an adult to watch us…the pool was open. We spent a lot of time at Uncle Jim’s house growing up – tracking a lot of chlorinated water across his bedroom carpet to use the restroom or change. (Ugh…no wonder they were telling us to dry off first, the things you don’t realize until you grow up.)
Heidi and I spent a lot of time with our cousins growing up. Missy, Shawnacy, Heidi and I were always together – traveling with one of our parents for a summer excursion, to church with Gram and Aunt Nancy or simply hanging out at Uncle Jim’s in the loft or playhouse. You know with four girls within a ten year span of each other – there was laughter and trouble.
One Christmas Eve we were trusted to sit by ourselves in the back of the church since there wasn’t room with Gram and Aunt Nancy. Since we didn’t really want to be there, once the service started and we knew we wouldn’t be spotted we snuck out and walked down to Mimi’s in the bitterly cold snow for a soda. We returned in plenty of time and had planned to meet at the car following the service so we skipped to the car laughing because we had gotten away with it, and on Christmas. Well…as we approached the car we noticed something billowing from the car window, slightly cracked. It was cigarette smoke. Our aunt had snuck out too…this made us laugh more until we realized she didn’t find it funny and we ALL returned back in church for the remainder of the service. It was fun but I haven’t snuck out of any services since then…the lesson was learned.
Heidi’s energy and love of jumping didn’t stop at Uncle Jim’s pool. As the “Tower of Power” playing Volleyball for Bishop Cunningham Jr./Sr. High School she used her love of jumping to inspire her friends to play their hearts out each and every game. Some teams started with a chant or high fives but this group of girls started with the Hokey Pokey. Thankfully I was able to attend almost all of Heidi’s games as assistant coach. I’m not sure how much I actually coached but it provided a second adult for the coach and it allowed me to travel with Heidi to all her games. A win, win situation.
As you start your weekend remember to put your best attitude in and shake it all about…that is what life is all about! I challenge you to “jump” for an opporutnity to spend time with your family, make memories. You never know when a photo will be the only thing you have left to trigger a memory. Thankfully I have both…memories and photos, thanks to my sister! Enjoy your family this weekend!