Sunday, April 16, 2006

Gabriel and Julian's Easter Brunch

We got a nice invitation from Betsy to join her and her immediate and extended family for Easter Brunch today, including an egg hunt for the kids. I was especially grateful for this invitation when Easter Sunday proved to be yet another rainy day!

As soon as we arrived, Gabriel made a beeline for Gina's train table, and all the kids instantly disappeared -- except Julian. He stood in the kitchen with the all the adults, gazing at each one, shifting his eyes without turning his head as he assessed the group one by one. One grownup suggested he was shy, but he wasn't being shy at all -- indeed, it has to be intimidating being SO short in a large group of standing-up adults, and he didn't hide or act fearful at all. He made a point of engaging each grownup in the group with his famous "eye-lock" from his baby days. If not for his innocent 2-year-old face, I'd almost say he looked like a drill sergeant reviewing his troops. It was the funniest thing!

While Gabriel continued to play with trains, Gina pulled out a tablecloth, spread it out on a kid table, and then set up a little tea party from a nice little metal teaset she has. After a nudge from Dave, Julian got right into the game, stirring his "tea" that Gina poured for him. Julian sat and played with the teaset after Gina had gotten bored and moved back to the trains, in fact!

I thought about cousin Aidan and his picnics, and how much fun Aidan and Julian will have doing this sort of thing together. Aidan loves to tell stories and name animals and such, and Julian will be entranced by this...provided Gabriel is too busy with trains to engage Aidan in a big-boy running game.

After brunch came the egg hunt. Fortunately, the rain stopped long enough for Gina's Dad, Vic, to hide eggs in their front yard, and for the kids to hunt for them. This time, Julian knew what to do, but couldn't come close to keeping up with the enterprising and very motivated Gina! Gabriel caught on right away, and was practically running from place to place to find more eggs. All the kids had a great time out there. Julian found a nice blue egg and had to go show Gina, "Look at my AYG, Gina!". I don't think she was impressed.

Another adorable moment was right before we left, and Vic was swinging Gina around in a circle, then Andrew. Julian walked right up to this family scene, looked up at Vic (who is a BIG guy) and said boldly, "How about me?" Vic was surprised, but gladly swung Julian too. No, not a shy child.

I wish I had more Gabriel tidbits, but for the most part, he played with trains the whole time. Surprise, surprise.

I was very envious of the cast at this brunch. Betsy had her (divorced!) mother and father there, her brother and his "friend" (a woman), a longtime college friend, and a cousin and husband who couldn't make it. I sure wish I had so much family and old friends in the area, but then, Betsy grew up here and didn't move away. Sigh. But it did get me to thinking more about our trip this summer, as of yet undetermined. I'm working on it!

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