This week, Shawn's mother and stepfather flew in from Arizona for an early Christmas celebration. I am so thankful that they came BEFORE Christmas, before all of the hustle and bustle, the sugar/gift overload frenzy. They were our calm before the storm, a week filled with quality grandparent love. The girls soaked all of the attention in and baby River was able to meet his Nana and Papa for the very first time. He was smitten, of course.
My father in law is the kind of man who likes to "piddle" around the house. Give him a honey do list and you won't see him again until you call him in for supper. He fixed lighting fixtures and chopped firewood and installed a brand new faucet for my kitchen sink. In return, I fattened him up good, the Southern way, with a roast and mashed potatoes and my cornbread dressing and more desserts than he's probably had all year. It was a nice arrangement, really.
My mother in law gave everyone haircuts, including Brees' first haircut ever. There was lots of bribery involved but she pulled it off and Brees is now sporting a fresh new do. Nana spoiled the kids in the way that only a Nana can: taking them shopping and on movie dates and staying up late reading books. My mother in law is THE most thoughtful gift giver and I almost cried when I opened up my gift: my first ring sling, something she knew that I would love and use daily. And when she asked us all to dress in matching "Duck Dynasty" pajamas and take a family photo, I couldn't help but smile and eagerly agree. Her youthful joy is contagious and I will cherish those photos forever.
Shawn and I are so thankful that our kids had the chance to spend a week with their grandparents. Every time they leave to fly home to Arizona, I cry and hope and wish for a day that we can all live closer. There is no gift greater for a child than the love of a grandparent. Especially at Christmas time.