As many of you already know, most of Sylvain's family lives in France. Last week, his Dad's family came for a visit to see sweet Sylvia and be here for her baptism. Daniel (the Dad), Nelly (the Stepmom), and Dorinda (the sister) stayed with us for ten glorious days during which they fell in love with the Nugget (duuhhh), and I fell in love with them all over again. This would be only the third time I've ever seen them, but it felt like they have been a part of my own family forever (if you don't count that silly little thing we call a language barrier...pish...words are cheap). The first time I met them was shortly after Sylvain and I were engaged, so they were "my fiancee's family." The second time was during the summer of 2009, at which point they graduated to "my husband's family." But THIS time...well, this time they were coming to see us, and we were all united by an incredible undying love for a six-month-old girl, so this time, I couldn't help but refer to them as, "my family." Because that's what they are and will always be.
Aunt Dorinda couldn't get enough of the Nugget. It was nice having our own Nanny around for ten days. She fed her cereal and veggies at dinner time, she helped me give her a bath at night, and, most importantly, she played with her and loved on her all day long, which meant I was free to do other things like....clean my house? No, they did that, too. Cook dinner? Nope, they cooked AND did the dishes, no matter how hard I protested! I was fortunate enough to *gasp* sit on the couch for thirty minutes with a glass of wine! They brought some gooooood wine for this baby mama! Oh, how I love them.
My father-in-law is EX.ACT.LY like my husband. Silly. Dry. Smart. He appreciates all the people around him and he especially appreciates a good joke. Dorinda is also exactly like Sylvain. They play games, they poke fun, they act like a total brother and sister combo, regardless of the sixteen years and thousands of miles that separate them. And they can't get enough of "Kentucky." We may have had a little bit to do with that fascination, seeing as how every other t-shirt we wear has UK on it, and every other toy of Sylvia's plays the fight song. What can I say? We bleed blue, and now France does, too.
Today, the Fasciottos had to leave. It was extremely sad. No one cried (expect for me, and not until after I dropped off Sylvia and started driving to work), but everyone had a heavy heart this morning. The last time we left France, the distance between father and son really hit me. This time, I saw the distance between grandparents and a grandchild. Daniel woke up early to say goodbye to Sylvain before he left for work. I was getting bottles ready in the kitchen and I noticed that Daniel stood in the doorway and watched Sylvain pull out of the driveway and drive down the street. It broke my heart. Then, Nelly and Dorinda woke up to say goodbye to me and the Nugget as we left for day care. Dorinda held her a little more tightly this morning, and Nelly said to me in her broken English, "Thank you for the joy with Sylvia. I don't think she remember us." It broke my heart again. I promised Nelly that, even if Sylvia doesn't recognize them the next time she sees them, she will certainly MISS them when they're gone. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning when she realizes that they're not here anymore. I know she'll be looking for them.
Lucky for us, we have lots of other family to love that are a little closer to home. We get to see Sylvain's mom often, and my parents and siblings live right here in KY, although, according to them, it's not close enough. I thank God every day for a big, loving, *close* family. I can't wait to see Sylvia grow up - half French, half Kentuckian - in the world's most wonderful group of people. What a lucky little girl!