M's Aunt Jean sent an email that she and her sister would be coming this weekend. The email was titled "Descent of the Aunts." I read it with a grin. One was coming by Amtrak, the other, by plane, and the plan was to converge at SFO around noon and take the CalTrain to our place, since we're just 4 blocks from the station.
They and their spouses arrived here a little after 1pm on Saturday, bearing gifts. Jean handed them to me, but I left them for M to open -- he loves opening presents. My favorites of the gifts was a little porcelain piggy bank like the one I had as a kid, and the baby crocs shoes. It will be a while before he wears them, but he'll be able to wear them outside and help me in the garden next year. I look forward to making mudpies and running through the sprinklers with him :)
M enjoyed showing his family the house and telling them about the various projects we've done. They liked that the house seems modest in size from the front, but is so large on the inside as it unfolds along the depth of the lot. I like that about it, too. I've never been one for pretense -- which is why I balked when M wanted to look at houses in Palo Alto. After growing up in the Santa Barbara area, I'm full-up on pretentiousness. So we've got a nice modest-looking house in a friendly working-class neighborhood and the renovations have made it especially lovely.
M was proud to show off the patio extension we did with his father's help back in April. I'm still amused that I was hauling 15 pound pavers around at 7 months pregnant. The whole patio area is really shaping up nicely, especially since we added the sunbrella to the patio set M's father got him for his birthday. There is still some clean-up work to do there, but I should have it done in time for the Peach Party we're having in a couple of weeks. I actually had to tie up the branches of the peach tree because it is so heavy with fruit.
The pièce de résistance was Little Man, of course. Both great-aunties spent a lot of time holding him, and even the uncles, too. We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the beautiful weather and chatted for a couple of hours, at which point Jean noticed that I was tired. Little Man had me up at 5am, so by 3:30pm I was wilting. We arranged to meet for dinner at Buca di Beppo in SOMA and I laid down with the baby for a two-hour nap.
Dinner was quite an event. I'd never eaten at Buca's before, and so I was unprepared for the big, hearty family-style Italian fare and the celebratory atmosphere. Lots of birthdays with singing and clapping going on. It made conversation difficult, but eventually most of the groups left and by 10pm it was calm enough to visit a little. M's aunties said they think we make a good team, and told me that this is the happiest they've ever seen him, which was gratifying. I think he's the happiest he's been in the 15 years I've known him, and it's always nice to get independent confirmation of that perception.
He makes me happy, and I make him happy. Relationships are work, but when they work life really is beautiful. Fortunately, the arrival of the Little Man hasn't negatively impacted the connection we have.