My sister-in-law and her family have come out to Bangkok see us for Easter. Although we keep in touch pretty well, it’s lovely to see them all here and for them to see where and how we live. In the UK we didn’t live that close to Sister/Brother-in-law who have small children (now 5 and nearly 7) so when we came to live in Thailand the cousins hadn’t spent lots of time together: family celebrations were the only time they saw each other, and their little ones were a bit small to remember.
So now they can get to know each other very well and enjoy each other’s company for almost two weeks: one week in Bangkok and 5 days at the beach.
(My) daughter has innate maternal skills she did not get from watching me. She takes care of her little cousins: anticipating and dissipating tantrums and hissy fits. There’s been lots of frolicking in the swimming pool; performances organised and presented, suncream applied, all by daughter, so sister/brother-in-law are getting some down time and a proper holiday.
With 'almost teenagers', I’d forgotten how hard work small children are: how you cannot take your eyes off them for long. I watch with delight at the energy, the get up and go and selflessness of daughter and it makes me very proud. I also see her recognizing when she needs to spend time alone, and announcing ‘I’m staying home today to work.’
I’ve never spent as long as two weeks with Sister-in-law either, so new stories are exchanged: tales husband has told me from his perspective are shared by her from her standpoint.
My dining chair seats are covered in Marmite, paint has been picked off our paintings and there’s pee all over the loo seats, but our children have created memories, anecdotes to share with their cousins and to tell their children, stories to reminisce over in years to come.