Next Saturday is my family reunion on my dad’s side. I’m so excited. I’m not sure how many of the family will be making it and whether any of the Amish are coming, but either way, it’s bound to be a fun-filled day. There will be so much laughter and love!!! I’ll be seeing my bosom friends, one of whom I haven’t seen since my baby shower over two years ago! Since then she’s had a daughter and I’ve had a son. So our children need to be introduced to each other (and us!) and we’ll need to hug and make up for the missed time!
There will be tons of children running wild, loads of “what did I say?” and “you need to obey mommy/daddy”, followed by discipline here and there. All the while aunts and uncles with grown children sit and smile, and most assuredly laugh, because they’ve done their parenting and they remember it all too well. Now they get to sit back and watch us raise our children and deal with the stress and the joy of parenting… The fun of our children testing boundaries in a new place with new faces. They might even tease us, claiming we’re being “too hard” on our children, which will switch attention from our wayward child to our disbelief.. “What??!! Why, I remember when you did X, Y and Z to so and so just because they did___!” and thus will begin a whole new line of reminiscing.
There will be card games, I’m sure. Maybe even a huge game of Catch Phrase. Have you ever played Catch Phrase with 20-30 people, men vs. women? Oh, it gets heated and LOUD. And fast. My family is competitive. Doesn’t matter what it’s about, we’re competitive.
I got here faster than you.
I ate faster than you.
I look better than you (we have vain people in our family, but we are a good-looking bunch, if I do say so myself.. See? Vain… Ha!).
I ate more than you. (Seriously, my family eats more than any other family I know. My uncles will PILE food on their plate the first time around, then go back 3-4 times. Yet not a single one is obese. How??!!!!)
I pee faster than you. (Yes, this has been done – I lose on this one every time.. I have a shy bladder and if I know people are waiting on me? My bladder becomes the shyest bladder in all the land.. Irritating..)
We’re just competitive and I love it. The thrill, the excitement. Knowing I’ll see all these familiar, loving and amazing faces. My family. The people who were a staple in my childhood. I felt safe with them, I felt loved, secure and at home. That’s exactly it – this reunion? It’s going home. It’s being with the extended version of me and who I am. We have differences of opinion and values and beliefs, yes. We’re not all exact replicas. But we love each other, support each have other and we enjoy being around each other. We’re there for each other. We joke with each other, oh do we joke! My grandpa was a jokester and so are his kids. We’re tough, we don’t break easily. Hence the joking, I’m sure. We pass things down. Like “that’ll learn you” or the variation “that’ll teach you”. Basically? If we got hurt doing something, someone would yell that out, saying, in a nutshell, “guess you learned your lesson and won’t do that again!”
We played volleyball at almost every gathering, growing up, weather permitting. I love volleyball. But my family? Well, the rules aren’t really the real volleyball rules. You see, my grandpa made rules up as he went, and his children have adapted that philosophy (you have, don’t deny it!! Grandpa always denied he was making them up too! ;)). So any outsider wanting to play volleyball with our family ends up shaking their head and being completely confused in the first game or two. We’ll grab the ball from the other side to avoid losing a point, there may be a kick here and there under the net.. And one uncle may stand there with his shirt up, rubbing his belly as a distraction… It’s chaos (think 10 people on each team) and incredible fun wrapped up together. So we may end up playing a blood-pressure raising game or two (or ten) of volleyball.
The best part? The catching up on each other’s lives. The non-stop talking. There’s never a pause in conversation. My family can carry on 50 conversations and not lose a thought. We can interject in someone else’s conversation for a brief second and come right back to our own without missing a beat. We can round-up children, feed them and continue on with the conversations as if this is the most natural thing – like we do this all day long, every day.
I know I will leave Saturday feeling rejuvenated, revived and full… And missing my family more than ever. Living so far from everyone is extremely hard. My son doesn’t get to see my side of the family very often. Especially not the extended side. So I am looking forward to the reunion and plan on soaking up every possible second with my wonderfully crazy, loving, wacky and perfect family! There will be pictures taken and memories made – I can not wait. 🙂