Four Generations of Birdsongs

We had a good time in Arkansas, spending time with my aunt and uncle, various cousins, and my grandmother.  We took the 12-hour drive in two days, both going down and coming back, and both kids were really good: Katherine entertained herself for hours, often just watching the scenery or singing songs (much to the amusement of the three adults), and Nathaniel took the opportunity to catch up on his napping.  The adults were much more impatient with the drive than they were!

Unfortunately, the kids handed off whatever sniffles they brought with them from England to their grandparents, both of whom developed full-blown colds.  And Katherine ran a fever for a day or so and lost her appetite while we were there.  If there is a way to travel without getting everyone sick, I’d love to hear it.  Katherine spent a lot of time in my lap (she is usually not much of a lap girl), waving away the million grandmotherly women who tried to give her a pat.  Hmm, skeptical brown eyes, and not much of a small-talker.  Sydney, you were there in spirit, if not in person 🙂

But Katherine did have a great time playing with her three-year-old second cousin, who showed her a few tricks at the pool the evening we arrived.  She slept really well that night.  And by the end of the visit, when she was feeling better, she’d made herself at home, wandering around my aunt’s house, chattering away.

Over and over again, Nathaniel elicited comments along the lines of, “Wow, he’s a big guy,” “Whoah, a husky little fella,” and, my favorite, “He doesn’t miss a meal, does he?”  Sydney and I find these comments amusing: Katherine was far chubbier than Nathaniel; he’s just bigger.  One evening Nathaniel found himself the center of attention when a lady at the table held him and got him laughing.  An entire room full of women (all grandmothers) were laughing along with him as he kept it going for a good ten minutes.  I think he won a few fans with that little act.

Here he is with my grandmother, my father’s mother.  She isn’t quite five feet high (I think I outgrew her by the time I was eight), so Nathaniel was quite a load for her!

Nathaniel smiled at anyone and everyone, so he made good arm candy for my dad.

Katherine and I did the wallflower act while she got over the hump of her fever.

Katherine, Nathaniel, and their cousin were the only little kids in a crowd of retirees, so they got lots of attention all weekend long.

Erin

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