Monday, July 8th, 2013


I’ve been hit and hit hard by a huge wave of family.
Seven days of 18 people, sometimes 21.
Coming from five states.
Loving one another.
Needing to see, smell, and learn one another anew one more time as we all change and grow.
Needing to come out of caricature into full blown wonderful irritating family members.

In seven days we:
Had a gorgeous brunch on the front porch-all happy to be together looking good.

Had one car accident.

Survived one totally torrentially rainy day that almost broke our back but Rummy Cube and kid videos saved the day.  That and a little late night scotch.

One disaster with bed bugs in one of the houses we used.

Pesticide on the front lawn of our house so no kids could play on it.

A lovely celebration in the early evening of the newest grandchild.  We created a blessing bush (nothing tricky–a bush with blessings hung on it) and gave our favorite childhood books to the new one.

A formal baptism ceremony for the new baby.

An improvised store created by two 5 year olds with stuff they decided I needed to sell.  Silent auction of my jewelry.  I declared bankruptcy and took it all back.  Desparate measures for rainy days.

Created a Game Club in the basement.  Only people who played fair and took turns could enter.  Anyone could get kicked out. Endless negotiating between a five and a six year old.

Constant creation of meals and take-out and clean-up.

One glorious 4th of July beach day with lobster up on a deck overlooking the ocean where everything worked, love abounded, sparklers were awe-inspiring,
all kids cooperated, fireworks could be seen——-until mosquitoes and bedtime wrecked havoc.

Lousy hot good-bye day.  Packing, kids fussing, grown-ups growling under their breath.  Ocean forgotten for coming to home base and grand parents.  More hands needed.  Then  a new wave of energy and all adult children off for a night on their own and happy grand kids with videos and pop corn and grandparents falling asleep in the midst of it all.

Why do I share all of this?

Because so many families are far flung.  We don’t get together for only fun and  the perfect moment.  Although I still plan them, they never happen by plan.  Just by serendipity.  And so we enact a microcosm, a hologram of family as if we all lived next door to one another. It fills that void. I share to validate this new type of close but geographically spread tribe.

And because I saw a needed skill for all families that I used by  my wise adult kids.  Perhaps a skill of successful combined families.
Forbearance.  Cutting slack.  Holding back remarks.  Waiting for something to get better.  Affection for foibles.  Managing the self for the good of the whole.
Plain ol’ patience.  Forbearance.
Not tucking things under the rug.  Not being a martyr.  Not being quietly furious.  Forbearance.

My thoughts from the debris.  Toys on the lawn (pesticide rained off). Beach towels everywhere.  Kids books under foot.  Kitchen in disarray from so many hands.  Games pieces in random places.  

As a large scattered family that still loves we have more strained catastrophic moments than many but forbearance pulls us through to some of the most 
unexpectedly lovely glorious moments.  Forbearance.  Much needed in our world.


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