A little later today, my youngest son and I will be on our way to VT to pick up my pilot husband (who is on his way back from a trip) at the Burlington airport. From there, the three of us will travel via ferry across Lake Champlain to the old Pearl family homestead in Upstate NY, for a fun-filled week of visiting with Pearl relatives...and celebrating the wedding of our sweet niece over the weekend. All four of our other children, along with our oldest son's wife and twin daughters and our middle three sons' girlfriends, are going to be there. It is such a rarity these days for my husband and me to have all of our kids with us, as spread out as we've become, so we're really looking forward to it!
All eight of the Pearl siblings will be there, too, with their spouses and all of their children (except one nephew who will be out at Notre Dame for a Navy ROTC orientation, and one niece who is a deployed Navy helicopter pilot). That means that my husband's "two families"--the "older four" and the "younger four"--will all be together. It should be a blast!
My husband is one of eight children. The "older four," a girl followed by three boys, were very close in age; then there was an almost four-year gap before the "younger four"--three girls followed by a boy--came along, also close in age. There are only thirteen years separating #1 and #8, and any gap that existed while they were growing up has closed completely, leaving the eight of them the best of friends--friends who live for the time they get to spend together.
When I was in college, I did a sketch of the younger four Pearl siblings as a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law. While it really isn't very good, technically speaking, it does give you an idea of the blue-eyed, freckle-faced, jutty-chinned cuteness--not to mention the bubbly personalities--of these four extremely special people.
We are part of a family that cherishes family--a family that adores not just babies, but toddlers and youngsters and 'tweens and teens, too, and welcomes each new addition to the ranks with complete joy. The more, the merrier!
How great is this upcoming week going to be?!!