Anticipation, excitement, enthusiasm…maybe you feel those things more when you are young than older. Remember how exciting it was when it was your birthday, it was like the whole day had this glow about it. I still feel a version of that when it’s my birthday even at my advancing age!
For me anticipation and excitement is quite often associated with seeing my extended family for a happy occasion. I have a very large family. My father was one of 12 kids, so I have 31 first cousins on Dad’s side. I would need a calculator/spreadsheet to figure out how many kids and grandkids those cousins have, and we are spread all over the continent. When we were kids many of us lived in Cape Breton, there are very few still left there. We used to see each other all the time, have sleepovers, hang out on the weekends when we were young. It is a wonderful memory. I think about how Alex doesn’t have those same experiences. He has far fewer cousins, and the age gap is large in some cases. Back when we were young families had 4+ kids, so there was always a few around your age. To this day I am at my happiest when we are all together. Amazingly we do that quite regularly too. When you have dozens of people to coordinate thousands of miles apart from each other you need to start planning a long time out. We have been lucky enough to have a number of these great get-togethers over the last 10 years or so. Weddings, anniversaries, or just a reunion of the sake of a reunion.
When you have a big family there are unhappy reasons for reunions, and we have had our fair share of those too. But that’s what tells the tale – when people will drop everything and come from far away in your time of need. That’s how my family does it, and it’s the most comforting thing of all.
So the next mini reunion is set for next weekend in La Belle Province. 7 ladies leaving from 4 airports to descend on Montreal for a weekend of shopping, sightseeing, wine, catching up, and laughs. Oh, there will be laughs. For me the group is made up of one sister and five cousins, plus me. It would be damn near perfect if my other sister could make it, not this time though.
I won’t be making a bed, washing a dish, or wondering if teeth get brushed for 4 days and 3 nights, and it will be heavenly! So the stories will be told and the pictures will be posted about this weekend when it is done. And plans are well underway for a bigger reunion in July 2013 in Boston. Last count we have 80 family members planning to attend that one.
That’s how the MacQuarries do it.