Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 26

Early on in this Thanksgiving challenge, I was thankful for my sister-in-law, Holly, but I neglected the rest of her family. So today, I am thankful for Jim, Kayla, and Troy Costa.

I am particularly thankful for how wonderful they all are with Ryan and Katie. Jim is one of those men who seems at first glance like he would not be a “baby person”, but who absolutely is. Jim is very athletic and muscular, so he is one of the few people who can toss Ryan in the air with pulling a muscle or giving himself a hernia. And Ryan adores roughhousing with “Unca Jeem”. Ryan can hurl himself into Jim’s legs and instead of nearly knocking him over, as is the case with most adults, Jim just grabs him and swings him high into the air or wrestles him to the ground, giggling maniacally. (Ryan giggles, not Jim. Actually, come to think of it, Jim does too.) And Katie loves being tucked under Jim’s arm like a football, or being dandled on his lap while they both grin and make silly googly faces at each other. I’m thankful for Jim’s playful spirit.

Kayla also naturally takes to both kids. Not only is she great at playing with Ryan, but she is a master of the distraction technique when he is getting into something he shouldn’t, or getting overly wound up. A little, “Hey Ryan, look at this” from her and he completely forgets about the trouble he was about to get into. And she has no fear of handling tiny Katie, expertly finding a position that stops her fussing and keeps her comfortable and happy. She is an experienced and capable babysitter, and it shows. I am thankful for Kayla’s calm competence.

And then there is Troy, Ryan’s favorite play buddy. One of my very favorite videos from Ryan’s first Christmas, when he was only about 6 weeks old, shows Troy and Ryan “wrestling”. Herb is holding Ryan and tackling Troy with him, and Troy obligingly throws himself to the ground while Ryan grins madly. And their relationship has been like that ever since. When Ryan started to speak and we were practicing the names of all the different relatives, for some reason Ryan decided that Troy’s name was “Mun”, and it’s stuck ever since. And there is no better way to get Ryan all excited than to tell him that Mun is coming over. Troy is one of the few people who can keep up with Ryan’s manic energy for more than a few minutes at a time, and Ryan loves that he has a buddy who will chase him around the room and won’t tire of the game before Ryan does. He loves that there’s someone who will wrestle him without fear of getting bumped or bruised. And yet Troy can still be gentle and sweet with Katie. I am thankful for Troy’s energy.

Three things that I am thankful for today are the drop-in daycare program at Herb’s work, comfortable shoes (especially when they’re on sale), and a long, relaxing breakfast out with plenty of coffee (and plenty of waitresses who aren’t too busy to stop by and tell me how adorable my baby girl is).

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