September 5, 2012

What's not to love?

Brex and I just returned from attending my cousin's wedding in Minneapolis. As I've mentioned before, my Mom was the oldest of 10 kids. After her there was an uncle, whose family I've never met, a childless aunt who died in a car accident, and then seven more aunts who all had children. That adds up to 27 first cousins, many who've now had kids of their own.

When Brex and I arrived on Friday, we went straight from the airport and car rental to the house that Aunt Gemstone had rented for the weekend. On the day of the wedding, a bunch of us met at a park/farmer's market in the morning. The day after the wedding, we all assembled at another house rented by the other aunts. That's a lot of family time! Yet all of it was fun and relaxing.

I kept realizing how much I enjoy our family. Here are some of the reasons why:
  1. Fun. When the music starts ALL of my aunts got up to dance. Just having all of them in the same room means the party will be fun.
  2. Relaxed. Despite having an open bar all night, nothing bad happened. No embarrassing moments, no fights, no hidden ugliness. It's amazing to have a family this large and not have any dread about a family gathering.
  3. Introverts/Extroverts. While most of the uncles seem to be non-dancing introverts, many of my male cousins were out on the dance floor having a great time. It gives me hope that no matter what Jrex does, our kid(s?) can join me on the dance floor!
  4. Caretaking. There was always someone wanting to hold Brex. He often preferred Mom to anyone else, but that's normal for his age. When I put him down to explore, there were always cousins around to keep an eye on him and play with him. After being loved by so many new people, by the time we arrived at the airport to fly home, he was crawling up to strangers and expecting they would be delighted to see him.

  5. My kind of fun. When we gathered no one watched television. Rather, people talked, played games, ate food and just hung out with each other.
  6. Laughter. Most of us have similar enough senses of humor that there are always quips flying around. Conversation is fast and interesting.
  7. Diversity. You'd think that us getting along would be because we have similar points of view, but it's not true. Opinions on the political spectrum seem to run from tea party to liberal, and we occasionally mentioned politics, but no one wanted to argue about it. It helps me remember that as much as the media wants to showcase a divided country, individuals  are willing to be kind to each other no matter what their point of view.
  8. Warmth. Come as you are, quirks are welcome. We all tend toward foot-in-mouth disease, so if it happens, we shrug and move on.


OTR sister said...

We do have an amazing family. And a lot of it is built out of pain, survival and faith.

Jack Towe said...

This is a great tribute to the Heine - Bentrup clan. Wish I could have been there.