Thursday, December 07, 2006
As you can see from the photo, my brother and I have always gotten along great. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for my neck), now I see him only twice a year: during the summer and at Christmas. Our families meet at my mom’s house in the town where we grew up.
My mom’s house is a big house that accommodates 10 people, and everything goes fine...until the huge holiday gathering of my mom’s extended family. The house does not accommodate 50 people. Luckily, they don’t stay long. We eat, we play football, and then all but the original 10 go home.
Now, there comes a point in everyone’s life when you decide to stop freeloading off your mom and have the family gatherings at your own home. If you are 14 years old and you can’t possibly imagine ever being old enough to hold family gatherings at your own home...well, I am 37, and I feel the same way. I have avoided the point for years. First I was in graduate school, living in an apartment far far away, which got me off the hook. Then I had a baby. Having a baby gets you off the hook for 5 years. The baby is now 5, and I can’t freeload any longer.
This was a very difficult decision. There were lots of arguments for continuing to freeload. My cousins tell me I only want to do this because I was the youngest when we were growing up, and I never got to sit at the big table. Also, my dad is already complaining that my house has only two bathrooms (read: he does not want to be cooped up with a bunch of people in someone else’s house, and you can bet he will disappear with his banjo and find a bluegrass shindig somewhere in downtown Birmingham).
But I have seen the writing on the wall for a while. Perhaps the strongest hint that my mother was tired of bearing all the family burden was that she started serving us pre-cooked bacon. So I have invited all these people to my house. There will be 8 of us for four days. The grandparents will visit for a day, which will make the usual 10. The 50 relatives will be here only for an afternoon, and they had better bring me some chocolate.
Wish me luck.
Posted by Jennifer Echols at 8:06 AM