We’re halfway through our annual family Christmas world-tour week, having already stopped in Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota, with Wisconsin next on the hit list. Trip odometer on the car is about to roll over 2,000 miles. Eli has made it emphatically clear that he refuses to ride in a car-seat anymore. Sorry big guy… 987 miles left.

So something new and wonderful happened prior to Christmas dinner in Nebraska. With the arrival of Eli this year, our little nuclear family – Steph, Eli and myself – have been upgraded. Growing up, as Grandpa and Grandma determined appropriate seating assignments for Christmas dinner, I was rolled into the collective bunch of “the kids”. As in, “let’s have the kids sit down here at this table”, and all five grandkids would crowd around a square little table set off to the side of the big dining room table. You think this post is about big table versus little table don’t you? It’s not.

Then when I got married I graduated from “the kids” to Matt & Steph. We were our own unit now. Not quite adult yet, but slightly separate from “the kids”; not better than “the kids”, and really still one of them, but somehow worthy of a different title. But now, with the arrival of a child, we have been upgraded with the official stamp of adulthood.

On my mom’s side of the family, the bloodline relative and their collective kin are referred to in the possessive plural. For instance, my mom, dad and their children are “Linda’s”. When asking when my uncle Dennis, his wife, and their children are going to arrive, you would inquire, “When will Dennis’s be here?”

And now we too, under executive order of Grandma Zimmerman herself, are now henceforth no longer “Matt & Steph”, but officially and irrevocably, “Matt’s”. I would like to take this moment to welcome myself to my family.

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