Willow is very fortunate to have a lot of family members that are really excited about her and want to be a big part of her life. She has 3 full sets of grandparents and lots of aunts and uncles. When I was growing up, I had one living grandparent, one close aunt, and many distant aunts and uncles. The importance of family is something that up until I had Willow I think I took for granted. I have lived away from family ever since I went to college. I was tight with money and vacation time and so I did not do regular visits home. Also interesting is that just after Willow was born, I became very possessive of her, even with family, and was weary about visits and sharing her time with others. Afterall, she lived in my belly for 9 months and then was glued to me (we are talking super glue!) for the first 2.5-3 months. Over the summer, we were pretty lucky to have quite a few family visitors come. And it was great. It gave me a chance to see that it is not only great that she has such a loving family, but also that she needs me to allow her the freedom to develop relationships with them. That might sound weird. But, it is true that I had to learn that. My husband’s mom (Grammy) and sister (Auntie) started something really cool for Willow. It’s called: The Dress of the Month Club. Every month a package arrives, with a cute little DOTMC logo and even a “Grammy and Poppy Approved” label. Inside each month are cute outfits that they picked out for Willow. I eagerly await the arrival of the package each month. As soon as it arrives, I tear through the packaging and ohh and ahh at their cute finds. Then immediately I throw everything in the washer so that it will be ready for Willow to wear ASAP. And while it is fun for us now, it will be special once again in a few years when Willow learns that they did this for her because they love her so much. Auntie also flew here in July last minute, when I realized I needed to do a very fast job change from working in Corporate America, which required significant travel, to something local. In her 9 day stay, I updated my 4 year old resume, applied for jobs, interviewed for one and then secured it. Her being here enabled me to focus on this task completely and accomplish my goal basically immediately! On my side, my sister came to visit when Willow was about 2 months old. She helped me get out of sporting maternity clothes and taught me how to function out of the house with a baby. We went on my first trip eating out and also went shopping for some baby essentials. She is my personal Research and Development chairman, being a mom to 4 kids herself. My mom has been uuulllltttraaaa generous with her time ever since I have returned to work. She gets on an airplane every month to stay with us for a few weeks to watch Willow while I am at work during the day. Prior to us making this plan, I had terrible fears of Willow in day care sitting in a swing and crying all by herself. (I know terrible! Every Mama’s worst fear!) My mom told me that she loves being retired and being able to do this for her kids and grandchildren in a way she hadn’t been able to do for us when we were little. My mom is so great with her. Despite not seeing her for about 2 months, Willow opened up completely and gave her big smiles from the start. No stranger anxiety at all. Family is so important. And when you need family, they show up. I’m so glad that I have such a great one!