Saturday, April 18, 2009

Leif & Holly - Fort Sheridan, Illinois - July 1987 - Age 12

Our sons grew up without the frequent closeness of our extended families except for some brief periods.

Peter A. got to spend quite a bit of time with his dad's aunts, uncles and cousins in Germany starting when he was 6 months old until he was 4 and a half years old.

Then there was a short time when we were back in Manhattan, Kansas that he was around my mother and my brother, Donovan and his family (cousins Rick and Holly; Tim wasn't born yet), but we left when he was only seven and Leif was just a year and half.

We were close to Lannay for a year when the boys were 2 and 8, but her daughters weren't born yet.

We also had the four years at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, when we were a few hours away from my sister, Sherie, and her family in Michigan, with cousins Shane, Brenda and Derek. Peter A. was only there for his senior year of high school and then back for Christmases, but Leif had time with his cousins the whole four years.

Then Leif spent more time with my mother and my brother Donovan's family when he was a senior in high school and a couple of years of college back in Manhattan, Kansas. By that time, Rick had left for service in the navy, but he saw quite a bit of Holly and Tim.

Otherwise, were were far, far away from our extended families, so our sons didn't grow up with a continuous sense of larger family and we traded that experience for the travel and life in Germany, Japan, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

However, Leif always enjoyed his cousins, and I think he if he'd had the chance, he would have spent a lot more time with them. They had a lot of interests and ideas in common.

He did have a chance to spend more time with his cousin Holly during two of the summers we lived at Fort Sheridan. Donovan sent her to stay with us for a few weeks each time and we had a good time together. We visited all the museums, downtown Chicago, and lots more.

You can see how Leif was starting to shoot up in height like a beanpole here. That year he was a gangly kid at the age of 12 and by the time he was 13, he was 6' 1" tall and shaving! It must have been an incredible transformation for him, but he took it in stride.

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