Well … it’s been a week or so since I last posted or responded intelligently to the few blogs I had a chance to read over the past week. Trust me … it’s not for lack of wanting. Rather, I appear to be “paying” for that mini-vacation I took to Orlando. Like I mentioned in this previous post, the theory of having more work to do prior to and after returning from vacation is a definite.

Not only has work been a killer, but life after work has been pretty hectic too. Which, of course leaves little time to read, let alone comment on blogs or even write a post for me-self. But that ends today. On my scheduled day off from work. Well, at least for a couple hours anyway … just got done running around town and doing yardwork. And now I’ve got a couple hours before Hubby gets home from work.

How was our mini-vaca? In a word … FUN! Our goal was to create time to spend with our cousins outside of the usual weddings and funerals. We wanted to make it a bigger group of cousins, but timing allowed for the majority of the cousins to do it on that particular weekend this year. We’re hoping to start planning next year’s “reunion” by the end of this summer. Hopefully that will give the rest of the cousins … not to mention our parents … the time to set aside the date. Next year, we’re thinking lakefront cottages on the west coast of Michigan. If you’ve never been there, you’re missing out!

Did I mention we stayed at Hubby’s uncle’s house in the Orlando area? I say uncle, but really he’s only a couple years older than Hubby. And although there’s a bit of a “cultural difference” (a-hem … meaning he was born and raised in the Philippines while Hubby & I have been strongly influenced by the American cultures, as I’ve mentioned before in passing), Hubby & I get along great with him and his wife as we have some similar interests.

Hubby’s uncle and aunt (we’ll call them E and ML) met and married about two years after Hubby & I got married. Two years after that (in 2000), their son ME was born. And another two years after, their daughter, J joined their family. But because they lived in Florida, we did not get to see too much of them over the first half of this decade. It wasn’t until about late 2005 that we finally got to spend a little more time with their family, when they came up to Michigan for the kids’ first experience with a “White Christmas.” Hubby & promptly fell in love with ME and J. The two of them were so smart and so affectionate to us. While ME was quiet and shy, J was “Little Miss Personality.” Six months later, the family flew back up for SIL’s wedding. J was the flower girl and was loving every minute of it, while ME enjoyed his time with the other younger male cousin’s and with our nephew.

Prior to the Orlando trip, the last time we saw ME and J was for Hubby’s grandmother’s funeral in Virginia Beach. And while it was overall a somber occasion, we did get to spend some fun time with them as well as the rest of the cousins. (In fact, this is what spurred the cousins to try to get together in the first place!)

While playing a board game at this Virginia Beach gathering, I was amazed to see how incredibly smart and logical that ME and J were. Not that our other cousins and our nephew weren’t also being smart and strategic … it’s just that with these two cousins, they had this reasoning behind their actions that reminded me so much of how Hubby & I think. I was floored by that observation.

Also, during one of the more somber moments of that trip, I stumbled upon E and ML with their kids while they spent some private “family time” together. J was sitting on E’s lap while ML and ME sat on either side of them. They happened to be reading a story book together and I could sense the intense love and closeness that they all had for one another. It was as if they were in their own, impenetrable family “bubble” that no one could ever take away from them.

It was that image and the previously mentioned observation above that it suddenly hit me square in the chest. That ME and J were the living incarnate of what I always thought our children would be, if we ever were able to produce our own biological children.

I can’t remember if I told Hubby that comment back during that Virginia Beach trip or not … but I certainly did this time, after our Orlando trip. On the car ride home after arriving from the airport, I turned to Hubby and told him how I thought ME & J were who I always imagined that our kids would be like.

Hubby said nothing for a small spell and then said, “I know.” Those two words simutaneously filled my heart with absolute pure love and broke it into a million pieces.

That’s because we won’t be able to have a son like ME, who is shy and reserved just like Hubby. Who, as his parents claim, is such a big bookwork like Hubby & I both are. And who likes to draw comic books as much as Hubby loves to read and collect them.

Nor will we ever have a daughter who has such an infectious laugh with enough sass to light up all of Disn.eywo.rld, just like (according to my Mom, anyway) I was when I was around her age. Who, in her parents’ opinion, feels the need to include everyone in anything she does, much like Hubby & I do. And who loves to be out in the sun and at the beach as much (if not more) as I do.

Because, while I know there are different ways that Hubby & I can have that dream … have our own image of that “impenetrable family bubble” … the reality is … we are not going to be able to pass on those unique biological and genetic traits to our future children.

And that’s one H*LL of a big bubble to have had burst.

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And now, for your viewing pleasure … some pictures from our Orlando Vacation

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