And, again, as previously stated, it was exhausting, indeed. But also so rewarding. And memories, they were made, my friends.
Nathaniel, as we were getting him dressed in the morning, said to me "Can I give you a hug?". I said, "Yes, please" and he proceed to crawl into my lap and wrap his arms around me for a good old fashioned cuddle. We sat like that for a few minutes talking about this or that and it felt so good to have that connection.
Little Libby has tried to say my name, I'm told. True it's garbled and slightly incoherent but I've heard that she looked down from the deck to the lawn where I was running around with her brother and called out, "Aaa Neeeie" (clearly intended to be 'Aunt Stephie', as I am referred to by my family now). And to see that girl smile when I walked in the room was enough to melt my heart.
We went on strolls where Nathaniel and I lamented about the 'Private Park' on our street, wishing we were among the select few who were deemed worthy to slide and swing. We then went into planning mode, going over the designs for our own park, complete with water slide and the best monkey bars this side of the Amazon. If you're nice to us then you can come play too but not you Christopher because you tease Nathaniel at school so you are not allowed. That goes for the rest of you bullies, too.
And I found that Libby really likes for me to sing Motown and dance around the room with her in my arms. And I'll never forget the first time she reached up for me to hold her. Made me feel so good to feel her little arms wrap around my neck for a hug. Kids are great.
So, exhausting? Yes. Amazing? Completely! One of my favorite trips to Austin, definitely. And I'd do it again, Samantha. Any time. Thanks for letting me join in the fun. Love you!!!