Today I went to the drugstore to print out some of the electronic pictures from our family reunion the day after Thanksgiving, and it set me once more to musing about family connections. There are wonderful pictures of all my grandchildren--laughing Jacob, exuberant Maddie, pixie-sh Edie, Sawyer with his Bob the Builder hat from which he will not be separated, lovely, energetic Morgan--only one picture showed tiny Ford, and you could barely see him. But the picture that made me really think was a group one--we were all arranged on the wall around one corner of the John's porch, some standing behind the wall, some kneeling in front (I'm too old for that and sat on the wall)--it was one of those pictures where someone sets the camera and then makes a mad dash to get into the picture before the camera clicks. But there we were, my brother's family and mine. His two kids, their spouses, one grandchild, his wife and her family, and all my gang--seventeen adults and seven kids ranging from seven to five weeks, if I did the math right. And the wonderful thing is that we're all close. We care about each other, keep up with what's going on, are delighted when we can be together and go out of the way to make it happen. I don't know if we've worked at it or it's just luck that we have such a big, close family--but it's sure great. It was especially wonderful to watch the six young couples visiting on the porch. When they were young, my children and their cousins saw each other every week at Sunday dinner (at my house) and they still laugh and tell stories about those times. Maybe it's partly happy memories that hold them together.
My children have only one other uncle--their father's brother and his famly in New York--and we remain long-distance close to them, though we don't see them as often as we'd like. My kids have all gone to see them, and I am in email contact with them often. They talk to the children on the phone, and we know what's going on in their lives. Again a blessing. I guess family is like friendship--you have to work at it.
I have friends who never call me for lunch, but because I value them, I call them--and then they're delighted. Family's the same way--you have to make the effort. Somehow in my family, it seems everybody makes the effort.