Kiera, Matteo, Oliver and Soren

Kiera, Matteo, Oliver and Soren

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Uncle Scott and Cousin Neale

Living far from family is a little easier in the modern world with cell phones, FaceTime and the internet, that is, until crisis hits. Nothing replaces being able to connect in person. My brother, Scott, and I were in desperate need of time to check in with each other in real life and not in cyberspace. Each with our own personal turmoil engulfing our lives, his visit with his son Neale in tow could not have come at a better time.
We know how to welcome people to Minnesota - wear your pajamas and hold a huge sign.
Our long weekend together was dominated by the needs of our five children and we took trips to the zoo and the playground, tromped around the woods and let the kids enjoy cousin time. Usually warm weather allowed us to spend much of the weekend outside, which is a rare treat for February in Minnesota.

Neale and Matteo

Matteo had the rare opportunity to revel in not being the youngest and he often took his change in role very seriously. If we asked him to hold Neale's hand, he didn't let go until we said so. Matteo is a rule-follower though and Neale's typical toddler behavior rankled his need for order, like the time Neale climbed onto the dining room table during dinner.

Neale had never slept in anything but a crib, which we no longer have, so I had the brilliant idea of suggesting he have a sleepover in Kiera and Matteo's room. We set up the spare crib mattress on the floor between their toddler beds, crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Neale lasted until 4:30 a.m. when I found him marching down the stairs and yelling "Dada!" with fierce determination.
Our bear cubs at the Minnesota Zoo

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