Sunday, August 22, 2010


I have a family rife with talent. My parents and my sisters--and my brothers-in-law, come to think of it--have serious skills, things that they do exceptionally well. Honestly, all of them. And not just one thing for each; they all have many things that they specialize in. We're a family blessed with above average abilities. We're like The Incredibles.

One thing that my Whitney-sister is especially great at is making sure that her kids have relationships with family far flung. For myself-- parents and sissies aside--I generally have a tough time keeping out-of-sight folks top of mind; my brain is one that relishes compartmentalizing and isn't any good at mixing the peas with the carrots. Whit makes sure that her kids don't fall into that trap.

I have always received unintelligible phone calls from her boys. I latch into words like "kitty" and do my best to run with them. Her boys know who Aunt Megan, Uncle Mark, and "Phosie" are even though we see them so rarely.

And they remember things. When I see Van he has to show me his yoga and I'm ever flabbergasted that since he was how old his brother is now, Jack has remembered that my computer is a tablet and he asks to draw with me. It helps me to craft individual relationships with them so that my love isn't arbitrary but cultivated instead.

I just got this email from Whitney:
Just now, I clicked over to your Zazzle shop and Jack was standing next to me when it pulled up. And he said, "Oh! That looks beautiful!" And I told him that you made all those prints and he said, "Mom! You need to get some of those!" And I showed him the ones we have and he said, "Does she do any Star Wars or army guy ones?"

Rock on. A 5 year old likes you.
And I like him right back.


Sue said...

So what about the Star Wars idea? Forget the patents, I'm sure George wouldn't mind.

whitneyingram said...

Thanks for the kind words. With how big both Ethan's and my families are, keeping tabs with everyone is something we do often.

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with Ricky's Melissa and Jack came in the room. I told him who was on the phone and he said, "Does she want to talk to me?" And she said, "Of course!". So he gave her a 10 minute (no exaggeration) speech about the army. Everything from President Obama to guns to the Nazis. Luckily, she put Jack on speakerphone so Ricky could hear everything. And they laughed their heads off. A little relationship was forged by a simple phone call.

Not much effort has to be put forth for my kids to want to get to know their family.

Sue said...

Oh yeah, and I like the idea we're like the Incredibles.

Julie said...

Kid themed prints? That could be brilliant.