My Aunt Sharon and Uncle Don used to take me for a week every summer. They’d plan wonderful, often also educational activities for us, like visiting Gettysburg National Park: touring Amish Country in Lancaster County, Pa; camping near Hersheypark; touring the state capital; and shopping. Always, always shopping with Aunt Sharon. I was two years old when they took me to New York City. I still remember calling the Statue of Liberty “the fake lady with the thing in her hand,” and wearing my heavy pink fur coat.
It wasn’t just for me; Aunt Sharon and Uncle always plan fun, educational experiences for anyone visiting them. One year, they planned a trip to tour a power plant for our family (there were probably 15 of us) when we stayed with them over Thanksgiving. When I brought Ryan to their house for the first time, they took us to explore the abandoned coal town of Centralia. They always know where to go and what to do that their guests will enjoy the most.
One of my first vacations with them, they took me to Lancaster, Pa, to see Amish country. I don’t remember it very clearly anymore but Aunt Sharon has told the story dozens of times so I know it well:
It was unseasonably cold that morning. I, being all of about four years old, decided I’d wear my pretty summer outfit (a shorts outfit with a sleeveless top, if memory serves). My aunt, with a few years of seasoned adulthood under her belt, advised I go for something more weather-appropriate, but I, already aware of the necessity to sacrifice comfort for beauty, had my mind made up. This led to a meltdown of sorts (ok, total meltdown), but Aunt Sharon wasn’t backing down. We argued a few rounds, and obviously I lost, and we still managed to have a fun day touring a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, and sitting in an Amish buggy.
Last night, as I was helping the twins into their pj’s for bed, one of the boys asked for a certain pair of Lightning McQueen pajamas that he’d just worn two nights before. I already had another pair on him, and wouldn’t allow him to change. This led to a meltdown, of sorts (ok, total meltdown,) obviously, but I wasn’t backing down.
This morning I woke up to both twins in my bed. The twin who’d fought so hard over pj’s had had the presence of mind and the sheer determination of, well, his mother, to change into the aforementioned Lightning McQueen pajamas before I was alert enough to stop him.
Apples. They really don’t fall far from the tree, do they?