One of the nicest things about connecting (re-connecting or whatever) with family is watching the kids welcome new-to-them members of the family and watching those same new members of the family get to see and know your children as they really are, rather than perfect-picture children from holiday cards.
Having visitors for more than two hours, kids quickly revert to being who they are. (I think there is a time limit on "company" manners, don't you?) From Buttercup saying, "Can I go play outside?" to Valiant saying to Aunt Katie, "Show me how to crochet?", the kids are just being who they are, rather than "trying to be good". (No, Valiant doesn't do needle craft, but he has a curious mind and wants to know how these things work.)
Our visit has not been about finding the tourist spots of our new town to show our new-again family. Instead it has been about finding each other and making connections. The buildings will be here the next time...the connections are what matters this time around.
Finally, it is super nice when the "company" stops feeling like company. Uncle Fig graded physics tests and Grandfather Sanders wrestled with a Sudoku puzzle all afternoon. Pretty normal, pretty cool.
We're off to the museum today for Museum Day with the homeschoolers. More in the life of the Nagles...how fun is that?