Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Big Family Fun

We just got back from a long weekend at my family's house. Chamudi loves these visits--he talks about them for days before and weeks afterward. They expand his mind and his heart.

For better or worse, we live hundreds of miles away from any immediate family. Most of the time our "family" consists of Ima, Abba and Chamudi. But every few months we pack up the car and join the clan and become part of something much larger.

My sister has five kids. They're all beautiful and sweet and they love Chamudi, especially now that he's talking and running and able to keep up with their nonstop fun and games. Chamudi is beside himself with excitement when he's with them, and more and more our visits are all about making sure the cousins get to play as much as possible. It's amazing to watch a whole new generation of kids in our family, and to see a child of my own take his place mong them.

Chamudi's also learning a lot about family relationships. Chamudi senses that they are complex, and he's constantly trying to work it out. The fact that Doda is also someone's Mama and that Savta and Saba are also Mom and Dad is tricky. And then there are those pictures on the wall--the ones that Chamudi is sure are Ima but are really Savta, and the ones of Ima when she was a Chamudi. All hints of a family history that far precedes--but also includes--my little boy.

Now we're back in our little apartment, with our little family. I'm happy to be home and unpacking. But I'm also reminded of how much Chamudi gains from being part of a the ganse mishpacha, and that I should probably make the trip a little more often.

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