We finally celebrated Christmas, yes we did. In March.

Hey, I keep saying we need to adopt another holiday that's not so hectic like groundhog day or something.

The majority of my kids I get to see most of the time, and I'm grateful for that.

While sitting around the table, one of my sons was regaling us with stories from his job.

Just like my dad used to do.

Then he went into a topic we're all dealing with now. While it's not funny, but he made it hilarious.

Hey, it's how we cope in our family.

If life hands you a lemon, suck on it and tell us exactly how you feel is our theory.

As we sat around laughing at the stories, and the spin on the sad parts, we all had a sense of family and what it is to be together again.

It doesn't happen enough.

In both of my sons, I see their grandpa.

The one in the storytelling and the other in the nod of his head and his seriousness.

Or I see the deep thinking in the one and the smirk reaction of his brother. All the things I saw in my dad.

I've been missing my dad especially this year.

Not that he could have done anything to make things better but probably what I saw at the table tonight is what I missed most about him.

It's what I love about family traits. Though their grandpa was gone and has been for a long time, he still lives in them.

I saw a glimpse of it last Sunday morning as my son was talking with a little girl and how that someday she would be up on the platform. My dad would do that with me all the time, telling me that I could do whatever I wanted, never pointing out that perhaps I might need to apply myself in my piano lessons, but I know his idea that I could do it helped a lot in the confidence, and hey, I had enough to get by.

In the midst of the discussions my oldest daughter started talking about how the three of them, would take shovels and walk around shoveling to make money when they were probably no older than 10,11,12. They'd rake in the dough every winter. And they discussed how they'd make a killing this year. She said she stopped shoveling the other day and thought, "To think that I used to do this for fun!" And then began to look around to see if there were any kids out to help her, but she didn't find any.

Another trait handed down from my dad to me and then to my kids. My theory was to teach them to work and they'd be fine. And I was right.

Of course, to completely honest, my desire to send them out shoveling and convincing them that it was an AWESOME idea also wore the boys out. If you've raised sons, you know that idle time means trouble of the wrestling kind or picking on their little sisters, so there really WAS a motive to this madness. Wear them out!

Later unbeknownst to me, the boys ended up at one their sister's house. I was only there because I couldn't remember where we had ended the discussion with my daughter.

The two boys, they were there to help their sister, something my dad also did for his family.

They unloaded the van of baby things for their soon to arrive niece and made sure to lug the heavy things into the house for her.

As I pulled away in the night, I remembered again what a lucky mom I am. I remember how my kids are acting exactly as I had hoped that they would.

They are caring, loving, hardworking kids. Yeah, they'd say, "Mom, we AREN'T kids any more, we're all around that 30 mark. But they'll always be kids to me.

Kids with a touch of their grandpa in them.

He's in their speech, the move of their head, their caring, and their work ethic.

While sitting at the table it felt like it should.

Laughter, reminiscing and a shot of storytelling with a dose of sarcasm and that my friend is what our family dinners are like.

Of course, throw in some gifts for the kids and you have a real party.

A note to grandmas...if you don't know what to get little girls next Christmas, go for the mermaid blankets, they'll think you're the greatest!

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