We were blessed to have both my parents and my niece Amanda come down for a ten day visit. It was Amanda’s first time to Costa Rica so we enjoyed our time showing her around our little town and community. My parents have both been down before but not to Santa Teresa. They came down once around 15 years ago when I was living in Guanacaste, they also came down for our wedding almost 11 years ago in Manuel Antonio.
We had such a wonderful time sharing our lives and our home with them. It was special for us to see our kids spend some quality time with their grandparents and it was just as rewarding for my parents to spend time with the grandchildren that they do not have the opportunity to see that often. It was also the first time since Lyndsey and I have been married that my parents stayed with us. When we lived in San Diego they would visit for the an afternoon but they were never able to stay with us on account of our dogs and my Mom’s intense allergies to pet dander. Almost two months ago we converted our house dogs to out-door only animals. We were nervous about the conversion but the dogs took to it naturally, so much so that we regretted not doing it earlier.
Our older dog Judah has been a house dog his entire life. He was also very neurotic , eating anything that he came across, running away whenever their was an opportunity and always needing to be on a leash. We had to take our chances when we converted him to an outdoor dog, especially becasue our yard is open most of the day giving him the opportunity to come and go as he pleases. Within a couple of days we no longer worried about him running away and no longer had to use a leash with him on walks. The new freedom and boundaries came natural to him and made him want to be more part of our pack.
Since the house is now pet and dander free my folks were able to stay with us and we are so glad that they did. Most of their visit comprised of going to the beach and tasting some of the excellent cuisine in the area. We also got to prepare them some our favorite dishes using local style black beans, rice, plantains and a fresh protein. We were even going to make them fresh clams from the beach, but had to set the clams free when we let them sit for too long.
Waking up early with my dad and spending some quality time with him is fun for me. I like my dad allot, he has interesting opinions on particular topics and is very mechanically inclined as to how stuff works i.e., vehicles, plumbing etc. I don’t get to spend that much time with him so it is nice when I can.
Both Lyndsey and I are the black sheep in our families. We didn’t have any sort of falling out, we just decided that we wanted to live somewhere other than Dallas or Oklahoma City. All of our siblings on the other hand stayed close to the roost. Lyndsey’s brother lives a few miles away from her parents seeing them nearly everyday. My brother lives a couple of doors down from parents and my sister live a couple of blocks away. This makes the immediate family very close and interactive in each others lives. They rely upon each other and help each other whenever they can.
We miss this interaction with our loved ones but understand that you ‘can not have your cake and eat it to‘. We were the ones that decided to move away, and part of moving away means that you give up that immediate interaction and stability that ones get being close to their families. Perhaps this is what we miss the most about not being close to our loved ones, especially now that we have kids. We have no mom to call to help watch the little ones so we can go on a date. No sister to call to have the cousins play together so we can get stuff done around the house. No family to celebrate birthdays or holidays with unless we make the effort to visit them. We just have the friends that we make and the community that we create. For this reason we so enjoy spending time with our families and feel privileged when they come and share their lives with ours.