This last weekend we had our entire family together for the first time in about 10 months. That may not seem like a lot to some, but to me it was a very long time, especially when it had been that long since I had seen our now 2 year old grand daughter and I had never met her almost 3 month old sister. But for 4 days we were all together and it was wonderful. We had time to get to know one another a bit and learn each others rhythms and share stories.
One of my favorite things about the reunion was watching our two 2 year old grand daughters come to know one another. There was much give and take, learning to share, fascination with food, mothers comparing notes and taking note of growth and changes. There was time to relax and time to hug and time to just sit and watch. My daughters, especially the youngest loved being surrounded by little ones, playing in the sandbox and throwing balls and, oh yes, the Easter egg hunt! My daughter is 19 and I think will be an excellent mother one day. She has great patience and talent with the children and they adore her.
Our grand daughter wasn’t sure who we were and wasn’t sure she cared to know when she first saw us. But we did get a few voluntary hugs and smiles before she left. I refuse to push her too hard, I want her to come to know us as friendly people and her grandparents who love her, and now that she’s getting a little older and will remember more, that will come. It’s hard to be patient sometimes, knowing how little time we have together but we have to be. How awful would it be if she hated to come see us??? Don’t you remember the aunt who always pinched your cheeks or left a lipstick smear on your cheek and you just hated it? I just want her and her sister to feel good when we see them and hopefully as they get older, to get excited when they know we are coming. So we are patient and we will keep trying.
More and more over the years families have moved farther and farther apart. It’s hard to get to know each other that way, hard to stay in touch even with all the technology we have at our fingertips. One thing we’ve noticed where we live is that the economy of the last few years has forced families to move back home or become 2 or 3 generation homes again. It may not be all that bad. Families need each other, families should help one another, families should know one another. I was raised in a home where grandma was either right next door or living with us until I became an adult and I think I’m the better for it. Having someone there to always love you, to listen when mom is busy, to hold you and tell you stories or that it’s all going to be ok, it’s a wonderful thing.
We had a small family reunion this last weekend, we’ll have a much larger one the end of next month. There will be at least 5 generations if I’ve calculated correctly, and there will be sharing of stories and histories and photos and a meal. Not all of my kids will be able to be there, but we learn to enjoy what life brings and not rage about what cannot be. We will get to know one another a little bit at a time, the old ones, the new ones, the in-laws and the out-laws, we will pass on our stories and learn new ones, we will give our children roots so they will have the ability to grow wings. We will get to know one another, we will be a family.