You know, it’s funny how major holidays have this tendency to reveal the truth about family. For one thing, ours has become HUGE. I come from a very small family, so it’s amazing to see how extended our network of relatives (and those we consider family) has become. I guess that’s what happens when you have four kids who go on to marry into big families and have kids of their own!
Anyway, there were 17 of us who went out for a big buffet dinner, and that didn’t even include my son and his fiancée or my daughter and her husband’s entourage of siblings and cousins. And as seems to be the case in most families, there were one or two people who never shut up, a couple of cranky folks who did little but complain, and still others who stayed more or less plugged into their electronic devices throughout the day. It occurred to me in a moment of reflection that the Griswold family in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation had nothing on us. But that’s the beauty of being with people you’re related to in one form or another: there was no need for pretentiousness, and we were perfectly content with that.
It may sound weird, but I love being able to step outside myself for a minute or two and just observe. It’s like watching my own life on the silver screen, and though it would probably bore the rest of the world to tears, it’s my story and I like it. I could do without some of the uglier parts of it, but yesterday those thoughts were far from my mind. I looked around the table as we all ate and drank, watching the interactions and feeling amazed to be a part of this crowd. I thought of my other kids and their relatives and wished they were here too, so I could see how large this clan really is. And to think it had all begun with Will and me!
I realize, of course, that the other matriarchs (and patriarchs) probably think the same way. And that’s OK. We can all share the credit for this magnificent group we call family. Even the ones who embarrass us every now and again. 😉