What is it about the ties that bind us that have the power to make us feel so good? My husband’s niece, her husband and their two adorable children are here visiting us from France for the week. My son has been in heaven. I haven’t seen him this “good in his skin” for months. There’s something about family that tells you deep inside you are loved for who you are, exactly as you are. At least we are lucky enough to have family like that. It’s all love, all support, all fun, all the time. I could adopt their nine month old daughter right now. The whole gang went to Legoland today and left me home with the baby girl. What an amazing day I had and it reminded me how far I’ve come since those in the trenches days of first babyhood, when your days and weeks consisted of rocking, singing, changing, bathing, feeding, burping, dressing, playing, reading, maybe taking a stoller walk to the park and back, or a Mommy & Me class. It was fun to imagine myself back in that mode. It was a very relaxing day…just the two of us. My job was keeping her happy and fed. Simple beauty, simple pleasures. And when I took her on an outing into the hood, she was the star at every stop. And people just look at you differently when you’re pushing a stroller…like “hey, that’s the next generation you’ve got there.” There’s something about a baby that just brings us hope…for the future, for the possibilities. Didn’t hurt that she is achingly beautiful! The women in the post office were doing backflips over her. It was fun pretending I was her Mom for the day. Then my big 11 year old came bounding in and everyone told me what an amazing tourguide he was today and how much fun they had. I’m amazed at his command of two languages, his poise, his kindness, and most of all his joie de vivre. I know he came like that, but I’m proud of whatever part I had in it. And so grateful for not only our amazing family who also helped shape him but also our tremendous extended chosen family of dear friends who form our local family as well. Mmmm, those ties that bind….I think they can tell us who we are. I’m so lucky that I like what I see.