“It doesn’t matter what story we’re telling, we’re telling the story of family. “ Erica Lorraine Scheidt
I am happy to say I survived another family reunion. And since we were missing one of our special Patriarchs’ I made a point of sitting back and watching the fun.
The ages ranged from a few months old to eighty something. And watching the generations relate was my favorite part. Our eldest Patriarch is always full of fun, vim and vigor. He has always kept everyone on their toes. He has mastered teaching this group the art of Fun and Sarcasm. I love to listen to the easy banter. Remarks such as this are the norm.
“Well you would think that with a Master’s degree you would know what a rhubarb plant looked like”.
To which the response would be, “you know what I always wanted a Papa but I have reconsidered and think I am okay without, seems like a lot of work”.
And the Gentlemen’s family was remarkable. They were managing his loss with such grace. It was wonderful to see that their grief could be simply about missing him. It occurred to me that this is how grief could look, when there were no words unspoken or complicated feelings unexpressed. His wife was making plans for how this new phase of life would look, and she and her daughters were looking out for one another. She had got herself a bike, and was embracing this new activity even though she had not ridden in over thirty years. They had planned a trip for the fall where they could be together. I was relieved to see how well they were all doing.
But the real joy was watching the generations interact. The four year old was thrilled to be taken under the wing of the teenagers that were there. He couldn’t remember their names, so was calling them that guy. “That guy” said I can go to the park with him. And he was differentiated the younger ones from the older by the reference of “that man” vs “that guy”.
He was happily running from one attentive person to another.
At dinner, the teenagers were attentively watching to ensure that their grandparents had everything they needed. I delighted in watching the older boy, get his Papa’s plate for him. It brought flashbacks of my children getting their grandma’s plate all ready for her. This was a sign of the ultimate love and respects that Nana and Papa had earned. It warmed my heart.
And the baby well she spent the day happily moving from one person’s arms to another. I must admit, I might have taken up more than my fair share of cuddle time. And everyone was giving her advice.
”We can get you Barbie’s, but they will only be the Professional Barbie’s.”
“I think that we will start with Science Barbie, because well you will probably be a scientist. In fact, next year I will get you a lab coat and microscope, okay?”
She would just tilt her little face up to the person that was talking to her and smile.
And then I had the pleasure of listening to the Patriarch give the New Addition advice. She was mesmerized. I don’t know if it was his Scottish accent or the sense of fun in his voice, but she didn’t take her eyes off of him. I listened as he advised her on life.
“Well aren’t you just the brightest little one that I have ever seen”.
“Your smile could light up a room.”
“Now don’t you bother listening to these others, especially that one she has her Masters and doesn’t even know what a rhubarb plant looks like? You just need to listen to me, the rest of them are spouting nonsense.”
Her little face lit up and she smiled at him. He laughed at this, and you could see the pure pleasure he had of enlisting his newest recruit.
I sat back and watched, and chuckled to myself. I wish I had recorded this moment for her. In the event that she ever had a moment of self-doubt, she could play this back to see how many people she had in her camp. The hopes and dreams and love that everyone was so willing to share with her. How every one of us thought that she could conquer the world, and were right by her side to watch her do it?
May your life be filled with the love and craziness of Family?