The Coast News Group

Northbound: Holiday reflections

Seasons greetings, North County!

I’m writing to you, after spending a week with my sister, brother in law, and my three adorable young nieces over the Christmas break. It was a great time together — I enjoy the privilege of my duties as a godfather — and a chance to be a part of the lives of my loved ones.

So much has changed. Before the birth of my oldest niece (who now is 8 years old), I had never held a baby in my arms before. Our family is small, and I don’t have much experience with young ones. When my sister placed her daughter in my care, it was a powerful moment for me. I also was terrified that she would somehow break, or hurt herself in my care.

In the following visits my sister made to San Diego with her family, my nieces would admittedly stress me out. It’s nothing that they would do — they’re all angels and are really well raised and behaved — it’s just the draining, exhausting experience of spending 12 waking hours non-stop with children. Is that a common experience for other adults? I had a newfound respect and admiration for all the stay at home parents and single parents out there that get it done, day in and day out.

This last trip was so different. My sister left me with the girls a few times when she needed to run errands, and I was also really hands on with them. The stress and anxiety from previous trips melted away, and I thrived as my role as uncle. I enjoyed every moment, every playtime, and for the first time seeing the world from their eyes.

Without them, my house now seems so quiet. They love visiting Carlsbad, playing in the backyard, and otherwise escaping the volatile weather of north Austin for the perfect mild weather of North County. We have so much to offer here that’s family friendly, wholesome, and safe.

My wish to you this holiday season is that you grow and reconnect in the relationships with your family and loved ones. Time is passing us all by, and it’s so important we make every moment count. Getting the perspective we need in life doesn’t require a seminar or money — it may come from something as simple and everyday as the eyes of an eight year old.

Vince Vasquez is an economist based in Torrey Pines. He is a Carlsbad resident.