Holiday gatherings are usually at the home of our son and his wife. It seems to work out well that way as the children are on their own turf and have plenty to occupy them with the swimming pool, a large yard, computers with games and so forth. Most interesting, though, is the family that gathers.
There is, of course, our son and his wife with her children and his children. Our daughter-in-law’s mother, stepfather and brother never miss an event. On most of the occasions, our daughter-in-law’s father is there with his other two daughters and granddaughter.
There might be a great grandparent from any extension of the family. There might be extended family members who are blood relatives to any of the core regulars. No one cares what the actual connection is. It’s just all about family togetherness and everyone enjoys each other’s company.
There is often a friend or two of the children there. If a birthday is being celebrated then there are dozens of other children and many of their families. Kids are running about in the yard or splashing in the pool. Hugs between the children and the adults are always in abundance and initiated from both directions.
We even have family members who don’t easily burn bridges. An aunt and uncle of our son’s children, from his ex-wife’s family, seldom miss a birthday event for his children and stepchildren alike. Occasionally, their daughter and grandson are in tow.
We tried to impart the value of family to our three sons as they were growing up. Unfortunately, our other two sons live to far away to see as often as we’d like. However, from what I know of their lifestyles, they picked up that value, too.
Family isn't always blood. Family is who you care about and cares about you. Family is who you always enjoy being with whenever there is an opportunity. Family is the love that you see glowing in everyone. Family is the love that you see growing in the children. Family is the love that tells parents that they’re doing it right. Family is the love that never stops and it ties the generations.