After spending the past two days with some extended family at the Haynie Family Reunion (and watching Eclipse with K and A) I most definitely have family on the brain.
I remember our reunions used to be these big week-long deals, go camping and rough it out in the woods with no cell phone service and no showers. The adults had their space, teenagers theirs, and the rest of us were left to wander around and swear not to kill each other. We'd convene for meals, and in the evenings we'd perform skits and showcase talents for each other. A week was never long enough, and two years seemed an eternity to wait. But one year this all changed, people got older and moved further away. Now the family is bigger (getting married and procreating does that), and we try to accommodate those at all stages of life. This year we had a luau with some authentic pork and entertainment, rocked the Lehi Legacy pool, those capable went to a temple session, kicked it at Rodizio (thanks again Dave!), and finished up at Aunt Anna's condo/clubhouse. Bonded with old cousins, met some new ones (Jamie and Adam, ha, I will never forget who you are even if I don't know how we're related), hugged and chased and kissed nieces and nephews, and finally played my first game of quarters.
I must say that my favorite thing about these reunions is people watching. It's fascinating to watch how one thing, a family, can be so completely different, no family is the same. I love watching the interactions and picking out the similarities of siblings, then matching these to their parental counterparts. I like watching the older couples, and although I feel terrible for stealing part of a moment, I love witnesses them look at each other with their lover's glint. My mother (look Mom I didn't refer to you as Kathy) is worried about my future because I tell her in all seriousness that I'm never getting married and won't have kids, but I'm secretly very excited to join the They and bring my own children to her club house to swim and eat Grandma Cunningham's chocolate cake.
Grandma will still pick up after everyone, the Stailey's will still have the loudest laughs, the Knighton's of course have their strong opinions but won't take responsibility for the decision making, everyone will still be twisting the Heaton's trying to get them to fund the next reunion and the Evans' will still be running on mormon standard time (although I do recall that this time the majority of us were first to arrive to most events!), Melody and Co. will still be new and exciting faces and everyone will be so thrilled Linda has arrived! I hope that once my generation has become the matriarchs and forerunners for the family that we will still carry on this tradition, but I can't think that far ahead, it psychs me out too much. For now I'm content to wait and people watch, and at some point in the near future bring my significant other and laugh as he tries to remember everyone's name and how they fit in our extensive family tree.