My Cousin Danny (er… um, I mean Dan…)


My Cousin Danny, trying to avoid my camera.

So, keeping with my November theme of being thankful for my many blessings, I must confess yet again that I love my job, my life and my family. Specifically, I am recently back from a trip to Phoenix. One of the many great perks of my job is that they value employees who are actually good at what they do, and they support our efforts to stay at the top of our game. In my case, this means that they send me and other sonographers to yearly conferences to learn and improve on things we are doing. So, this year, I got to hit up Phoenix for a while to learn what’s new in the land of fetal hearts. But, as you know, this blog is not about me and my fantastic job. This blog happens to be about my boys.

The majority of my trip in Phoenix was not as rewarding as it might sound. The conference offered many amazing tid-bits of knowledge, but I didn’t manage to get out before dark each day, so I could do very little in the way of exploring desert and mountains with which I am basically unfamiliar and eager to see sometime in my life. But, I was fortunate that my cousin Danny, (er… um, I mean… ‘Dan‘) and his lovely family came to visit me. As luck would have it, Dan’s sister in law was living within a half hour or so of my hotel, and she was kind enough to allow us to meet up there. The last time I saw Danny was over 4 years ago, and frankly we didn’t get to hang out enough when we were younger, so I was really eager to see who he grew to be.

To be clear, I have two cousins named Danny. Both prefer to be called “Dan”. And for the record, I recently found my other cousin Dan on facebook, and I’m eager to see his family in real life rather than cyber stalk his photos. This particular Dan I’m talking about today though, happens to be a cousin from my father’s family.

Dan came to get me with his oldest son, Logan, who feel asleep in the backseat. This was nice, because I got inspect the young man without bothering him. And, I might say that he indeed looks like a member of my father’s family. (For those of you familiar with my father’s family, this child looked a LOT to me like my Uncle Ronnie. Classic Ensign hair color, texture and wave.) He looked like a sweet angel while he was sleeping, and it gave Dan and I a lot of time to talk and catch up.


Logan resting in the backseat.


When Logan awoke, suffice it say he was less than enthused to meet me. Dan was quick to offer an explanation of how Logan takes a long while to warm up to people he meets, and declared that I should not be offended. On the contrary, Logan’s immediate fear of people he did not know was exceptionally reminiscent of the first little boy I gave birth to. Jake had nearly identical reactions to people when he was at a similar age. We all proceeded into the house at that point.

In the house, I got to meet Dan’s lovely wife, Nikki. Now, to be fair, I had met Logan and Nikki once before, at my grandparent’s 50th anniversary party, but Logan was only months (weeks?) old, and I was so busy catching up with out of state relatives that I was only able to get a quick “nice to meet you” type greeting in with Nikki at that time. She’s really quite a beauty, and she has a fantastic personality. I think she and Dan seem to balance one another out nicely.

Nikki happened to be hanging out with her newest bundle of joy, 9 month old little Landon. Landon was not much happier to meet me, initially, than was Logan.


Beautiful Nikki and an unsure Landon...

Landon, unlike Logan, looked a lot more like his mother’s side of the family than he did his father or my own. But, he was every bit as handsome as his big brother, and lucky for me, he warmed up very quickly! Landon played a form of peekaboo with me,  involving my camera and it’s flash, and eventually he even let me hold him. He reminded me very quickly of Benjamin at a similar age. We got on rather well, I’d say.


A much happier little brother!


Before too long, I decided I’d better cease the opportunity to get to know Logan. I tiptoed into the room where Logan was playing, and gently began to play with him. I used techniques and ideas that I remember working well with Jake, and before too long, Logan was on my lap and I was reading a Sesame Street book about shapes and numbers to him. I was very amazed. Logan’s speech patterns were almost identical to those of Jake’s, and I assure you those patterns are unique to our children. Given Jake’s Asperger’s Syndrome testing, his speech has been analyzed repeatedly and been deemed incorrect but not falling into any of the specific patterns that abnormal speech usually does. I felt instantly nostalgic with this kiddo. If I could’ve sneaked away with him in my suitcase, I’d have brought him to my home to play.

Logan concentrating on his play.

All in all, I took away a ton of great lessons from this visit. Most of all, I was shocked at how similar Dan’s boys are to mine, though there are so many miles between them and they’ve never actually met. Partly, I imagine, the concept of birth order must play a role. (For the unfamiliar, please refer to my previous blog, ( .) Mostly though, I’d like to believe that there is something about our DNA that makes us similar. And more importantly, there’s something magical about being family that can make the long distances and times between seeing one another melt away.

Thank you Danny, Nikki, Logan and Landon for having me. It was a fantastic time!




About Mindy

I am a mother of two boys, a disc golfer, a former derby girl, a sonographer and an aspiring writer. Sometimes words and events replay in my head endlessly until I let them out. I am verbose. I have lots to say all of the time. If there's something you'd like to know, you'd be better off asking.
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