After living with us for nearly the entirety of Leo's 5 year life (and some months before), Uncle Daniel has moved out. We saw the writing on the wall when he first met his now girlfriend - he began spending more and more time with her and less time at home. Of course we were/are happy to see him happy, but we miss him a ton.
So, it's just jb, the kids and me under our roof these days. There are some nice things about just being a nuclear family (for example, I've all but given up wearing pants around the house), but mostly we've noticed the downside of losing Daniel as a housemate. There are the more tangible perks to having another adult around, like one more person washing the never-ending dishes or someone to occasionally keep an eye on the kids for 20 minutes if I need to run and errand that would be a thousand times quicker without my two-sidekicks. But really, the biggest loss is his company. We miss seeing him in the mornings when he'd come up for coffee and at dinner time (we tried to eat dinner as a family when our schedules allowed). One more perspective in our conversations at the dinner table and one more life experience to share with the kids is never a bad thing.
The kids loved having him around and he struck that perfect harmony of intimate familiarity and novelty for them. When he would invite Leo downstairs to his room to "listen to music," Leo felt like the coolest kid in the world. When he'd take the kids out to lunch, not only was it a welcome break for me (watching TV in the middle of day - woot!), but it was so special to the kiddos to have time out in the world with their Uncle.
And then there was the cooking. Daniel is a great cook…and he's great to cook for. Pretty much every recipe he tackled turned out great, and no matter how awful something I made turned out he was still full of compliments. With three adults in the house who enjoy cooking, not only was the workload spread out a bit, but the variety of foods served in our house was more diverse than ever before. The kitchen is and was truly the heart of our home - with someone always cooking/baking/washing/eating. So the heart of our home is still pumping along, but it's missing a valve...or it's been transplanted...I think this metaphor got away from me. Sorry. Thankfully, he's just over the Schuykill in South Philly and we still get to see each other regularly. Thanks Daniel for your years of friendship, support, help big and small, and being the best family addition we could ask for. We wish you luck in this next chapter. Don't forget about us.