When she was littler, my brother's in-laws used to visit New York City from India and help care for her over summer vacations, but now that she's older there are more options. Now she gets to venture a bit farther afield, all the way to the Midwest.
|Giggling in the backseat the whole way on a nine hour drive|
But time watching Ellora comes with great responsibility. Someone must remember to take The Daily Photo.
My brother, Arno, has been working on the Ellora Daily Photo Project since the day she was born over nine years ago. One photo, every day, all aligned at her eyes to flash by in an epic time lapse:
Pretty amazing. And when my niece is in our care the Daily Photo responsibility becomes ours, and I do NOT want to be the one who breaks the link in the chain.
Poor Ellora simply had to put up with my snapping her picture whenever I happened to remember it, regardless of whether she felt presentable or not, just to make sure I didn't miss one. She's an incredibly good sport about it. Arno has told her she gets to decide how long it continues, and the day she's had enough, then that's that. But the Daily Photo is simply part of her routine and doesn't seem in danger of ending anytime soon.
Between me and my husband we managed not to miss any days. So that's a relief.
|My favorite of the bunnies|
We taught Ellora how to make banana pancakes.
|Quinn and Ellora serving their entirely kid-made pancakes|
She can also now make French toast on her own. In honor of her new breakfast making acumen we bought her her own spatula for flipping when she goes home.
We read Dr Doolittle, watched Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, hunted for Mold-A-Ramas, and at the cottage the kids spent every day in the lake. Ellora got to feed a goat, touch a duck, weave on a loom, pick up crab apples, wash the car (and her cousins) with the hose, and put a dress on the dog. She got to experience the wonder of "Shopping in the closet" as we went through the ritual of figuring out who had outgrown what over the summer and moving things down from one kid's drawer to the next. (She picked out a few things from the Goodwill pile that no longer fit Mona that Quinn wasn't interested in. And actually took back a shirt that her mother had originally handed down to Aden a few years ago, so if her mother sees it and likes it again it will have come full circle.)
|Mona and Ellora weaving at Greenfield Village|
|It's weird the things the dog is patient about|
|Daily Photo at the Henry Ford Museum|
|Kids doing crab apple cleanup|
We were all genuinely sad to have to return Ellora over Labor Day weekend. She's back to her normal life of books and subways and friends and school. If we're lucky, maybe in the spring we'll get to hang out with them in New York for a bit and enjoy that life along with her for a while. I hope so. And we're already looking forward to next summer.