As I was saying, I went to my aunt Susan’s house on Monday. My mother and all her sisters had gathered there after the big family reunion. This is something I find beautiful and amazing. After spending almost a week together, they all drove hours out of their way to spend more days together.
They are great friends. That’s what makes getting together with them, or going to a reunion, so much fun. The whole day will be filled with laughter and fun. Monday was no exception. We played dominoes and laughed for hours. It was great. At one point Susan thought she saw her husband’s car do a U-turn and drive away. I made the comment that he didn’t want to come home to this house full of women. The look I got from Sam got more laughs than any of the jokes or silly comments up till then. (No, honey, I didn’t mean to lump you in with the women. Really.)
I think that the sisters (and, for that matter, their brothers) enjoy each other so much because they didn’t have a cushy life. They had chores – real ones, farm work, laundry with a mangle and wash tub- and they didn’t have TV or video games. They were farm kids, so they were pretty much each other’s playmates. Unlike kids today (I hate that phrase “kids today” – it makes me sound like a cranky old man) they didn’t spend their time fighting and squabbling. Not that they were perfect or never had an occasional spat, but they were genuinely friends in a way that seems to be rare for siblings today.
My friend Nermin’s family is a lot the same way. She and her sister are friends, going to movies together, shopping together. I admire that.
I enjoy my family. My sister is one of my best friends, and one of the first people I call with news, bad or good. My older brother (he wasn’t always my older brother, but that’s another story) is at the top of my most admired people list. My younger brother is witty, brilliant, and a lot like me, so of course I like him.
Some people go to family events with mixed feelings, looking forward to time with loved ones, but also knowing that there will be tension, cutting words, maybe outright anger before the day is through. I feel so blessed to belong to a family that truly enjoys each other and loves spending time together. My kids haven’t quite caught on to the idea of loving to hang out with Mom yet, but they’re still young. I have hope.