Sunday, April 04, 2010

Generational, Relations

My childhood was rife with family gatherings. All family, aunts, uncles, and cousins would descend for most every holiday to the home of the matriarch, Big Mama. My mother socialized with the younger third of her siblings and we in turn socialized with their children. There are hundreds of photos of all of us crowded in my grandmother's kitchen, living room, or yard, in celebratory unison. We weren't as close as the photos would have you believe. That fact that we, for the most part, dispersed after Big Mama's death, bears witness to that fact.

My children were rarely privy to the extended family celebrations and relationships I experienced growing up. There were some, prior to Big Mama's death (one month after Easter 1989) and a handful after, but mostly, gatherings meant us (and now and again, a trip to visit their dad's family). Sometimes (oft times) I think that is a good thing, but sometimes I can see how they missed (perhaps a vital) aspect of growing up.
Having Michael back in residence and spurred a lot of memories and certainly much conversation. I've been thinking how different things would have been had things been different.

But, then I think what the hell, let's just enjoy what is to the best of our ability; celebrate the moments of our lives, whenever. Whatever.


  1. Yep.
    It's all we can do, just do what happens - or what we make happen. It's all good.

  2. If your kids are like me (and for your sake, I hope they are NOT) they can be thankful for all the damn family gatherings that they DIDN'T have to attend.

  3. I am from a pretty big family too. My father is the only one that ever moved away from St. Louis. I feel like I missed ALOT of family stuff by living so far away.

  4. I was raised in a very Irish Catholic family. We had cousins coming out of the wings everywhere. I remember so many huge family gatherings, but you know what? A lot of them were stressful more than fun. My daughter has seldom been a part of big family gatherings and I think she is happier, I really do.

  5. kmae: yeah, I hear ya

    syd: Like in all things the two are split on the deal, at present.

    dish: I used to think I missed out not having a sister. I've adjusted that thinking. ;-)

    Maria: When the kids were, well, kids, I don't think they did missed it per se. And to be frank, BOTH don't now. But one, while doesn't miss the full on on slaughts, laments the experiences that might have been gleaned.

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  7. I enjoyed our family gatherings. The parents would drink and the kids ran wild. It was like a mini vacation. I especially enjoyed the night time pool parties.

    Thomas missed out on that too since his cousins live across the country. If we had lived closer it would have been different. But, I guess we all miss out on something or other along the way.


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