I think some of you are aware of the fact that I am one of 8 siblings. I am second in line with one older brother, we are all just about two years apart except for the younger boys. As we have grown and partnered off, I have noticed a very interesting thing, especially on holiday weekends. Three of my siblings have partners that also come from families of 8. My sister in law is the youngest of 8, Cuban descent. My brother has a girlfriend that has 5 sisters and two brothers, her youngest siblings are actually close in age to my boys, Hawaiian descent. And my brother in law comes from a huge family on his Dad's side, 8 uncles and aunties, Creole descent. It serves for some awesome and huge holiday celebrations.
This year was no exception. We spent the first part of the day with the Hawaiians, their backyard sent the boys into ecstatic fits of joy. Huge play area, gardens and slides and swings and a pig. A pig with PMS but still, a pig.
We had a mellow and fun egg hunt with the little people scurrying around and quickly getting the gist of it. (Video here for Gramma Mona and Grandpa Jim). The thing I love about gathering with other big families is the mellow vibe, the easy flow in and out of the kitchen, the constant hustle and new faces to meet and the food. Oh god. The food. Maybe it is due to the fact that when you feed 8 mouths daily, you know how to create an ungodly amount of food. It was a chilly windy and puffy cloud day and there was hot soup and other good stuff. And it brings me so much happiness to watch our families as they blend and mesh together, see my siblings in happy settings, with happy people.
And then we went to my brother's house where the Cubans had gathered. No pictures there because I think I went into a food coma. There were tostones (fried plantain) and medianoches (Cuban sandwiches) and pastelitos (flaky pastry with meat inside). And the awesome news that I will be an auntie again come next fall, their first. And then I watched as my boys fell deeply in love with Jules, an 11 year old sweet heart that watched them carefully and obligingly performed the role of the tiger during playtime.
And it begins to come to me just how wonderful it is to be part of this family, this multiplication table of love. They are each different, the currents and relationships of each group have their own flavor and fashion but in the end, it is all about the love and the sharing and the gathering. It would be such a blast to gather them all, every sibling and their partner and their others into one big huge space someday, just to see what it would be like.
I love that I can watch my siblings become grown ups belonging to a circle wider than our own, becoming spouses and parents and people that can fit into so many places. It makes holidays a wonderful joy rather than a stress or strain. Hope your Easter held lots of joy and fun and candy too.
(Owen pre-choc choc coma).
Now, on to the next event in April. Birthday boys and sewing skirts, road trip to Berkeley and puzzle invites. More on that soon.