Had the family over today, en masse. Actually 2 were missing, so there was only 25 of us. And Melbourne, in its glory provided one of those indecisive days full of cold & rain, sunshine & warmth – but not enough warmth to dry things so that children could play outside. Luckily, with the covered courtyard cleared there is almost adequate room for skateboards and ripsticks to burn off some energy.
The twenty-five are the mix of my clan and MotH’s, though mostly MotH’s. It is the thing we do for the kids’ birthdays, and with twelve nieces and nephews spread over Melbourne (only two are interstate), twice a year it’s my turn. While I thoroughly enjoy my family and my in-laws, gathering them together in one space always involves lots of preparation, an incredible amount of noise, and then lots of tidying up.
And this is where I say thanks – to both families. To have two families that are happy to come together is a blessing. The two clans have quite different backgrounds, and varying interests. One is dominanted at this time of year by Aussie Rules and the other is only mildly interested, more enthralled with things either musical or cultural. One family has a particularly tradesman background, while the other is predominantly tertiary educated. In their day to day lives, there would not be a great deal of commonality. Yet, when they gather together in my house they greet each other with real warmth and happily converse on all range of subjects.
I am exceedingly lucky with the family I have married into. My three sisters-in-law are good friends, and their husbands are true mates of MotH. My children view their cousins with true delight – seeing them as more than just relatives but the greatest of buddies. And my mother-in-law is loving and caring, happily mothering me too, in absence of my own over the last several years. I am blessed and acknowledge this often, as I know others who do not see their own acquired families in the same fortunate light.
So to my two families (three, if you include my own little unit), thank you. It was a lovely day.