Sunday, December 16, 2012

Family. You gotta love 'em....right?

We celebrated our annual extended family Christmas today. These are my mom's siblings and their spouses and all of us, progeny. If my mom's generation is considered the P1 of this group, the genetic sample size is 5 then, add 3 spouses for a total of 8; my mom and one of her sisters are widows. I am, by definition, part of the P2 generation and there are 11 of us cousins + nearly that many spouses/significant others for about 19. The P3 generation numbers start to get a little more interesting, there are many more involvements here. We have biological children, step-children, spouses/significant others and legally separated but still involved relationships so the numbers here are closer to 40. The P4 generation is just getting started and has only one representative at this point. So, theoretically, we could have annual Christmas parties of  70, without breaking a sweat. Just to keep things particularly interesting, there are multiple cases where the P2 and P3 generations overlap...that is, there are representatives from P3 that are older than some in P2 and where the P4 generation is older than P3. Today, was a relatively small gathering with only about 31 attendees. Fortunately, each generation was represented. 

I actually love getting together for this annual function. I enjoy seeing my cousins and their children. It never ceases to amaze me how much older the "kids" are than what I envision them to be in my mind's eye. This is especially true if I haven't seen them in a couple of years. You know, we experience change ourselves and with our immediate family but, while we know intellectually that time marches on for all of us at the same rate, (no I'm not going to discuss some of the time continuum theories here); we forget that fact with people we don't see everyday. One case in point is Reagan, the second son of one of my cousins. Reagan graduated from college this past May, as did my son Reece. Intellectually, I know that they are the about the same age and both have started their adult careers. I even know that Reagan is on the "FREAKING BRILLIANT" end of the intellectual spectrum. I haven't seen Reagan in a couple of years. So, while my brain knew these the things about him, I was still amazed at the incredibly articulate, friendly and fun young man that I visited with today, especially since in my heart, he should be only about 12 years old. 

This cartoon doesn't particularly have any direct
relation to my post, I just like it.
The age range for our group is about 2 years to 80+ (my aunt Mary Louise would not like me to be more specific than that); and we are so blessed that we are close enough to enjoy cross-generational conversations. Don't misunderstand...this is family, so there is drama! People get their feelings hurt, or their panties bunched, or whatever; the important thing is that we mostly get over it. You all know that cartoon: "Our family tree has a bunch of nuts;" but, its family so you gotta love 'em...right? 



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