I had something completely different planned for F, but I’ll post it later. I just got home from a weekend with my family and I was just reminded yet again how blessed I am to have such a large, loving family. I was with part of my mom’s side of the family, but my dad’s family – while much smaller – is pretty great, too.
My mom’s family gets together three times a year, twice for one-day get-togethers, and once a year for a three-day stuck-together-out-in-the-woods-with-no-television reunion. And I think for most of us, the three-day reunion is our favorite. Even the kids. No TVs. No computers. In previous years, they’ve pulled out the Nintendo DSes after dark and played games. This year, I didn’t see any video games. It’s great to see the kids playing together, running free outside, like we – their parents – did at their ages. They’re getting to know each other and bonding in a way that wouldn’t happen in the normal course of things because we all live too far apart.
Growing up, I was as close to at least one cousin as some siblings are. As we’ve gotten older, thanks to Facebook and family reunions, I’ve gotten to know many other cousins better and become closer to some of them. (Did I mention I have 21 first cousins on my mom’s side? Only 9 on my dad’s side.) I’ve gotten to know my aunts and uncles better, too. Growing up, they were like extra parents. Over the past few years, I’ve discovered that they’re actually people, too. 😉
When I hear about people who never see their families or families who never have family reunions, it’s hard for me to comprehend. We’re not all best friends, and with such a large family, I probably can’t even say that every single person likes everyone else, but we know that there is someone who knows what things were like growing up, because they were there – whether it’s a sibling or a cousin. We know that whatever is going on, there is someone there to pray for us, someone to reach their hand down – no matter how far we feel we’ve fallen – and pull us back up.