Aside from an occasional wedding, funeral, monumental anniversary or special holiday we really don’t see my Dad’s side of the family anymore. It’s unfortunate because we grew up seeing them much more often and as the families all grew those opportunities became fewer and fewer. Now, it’s gotten to the point where it’s a huge effort and the invitations are maybe twice a year. We aren’t included in the “Cape Cod” functions that happen with regularity because (as far as I can see) we are from NH. It’s a bummer for us because we totally dig our cousins, and it’s even a bigger bummer for my Dad because he adores his brothers. So, when Christmas Eve comes around we make an effort to trek the kids down to Mass for whichever cousin is hosting. (After years of offering to host in NH we realize that if we ever did host, we would really be the only ones there – because we live there – they wouldn’t reciprocate the drive). I’m not sure any of my cousins have even seen our home which we have lived in for 9 years and it’s not for a lack of invitation. But, I’m not bitter… LOL!
Anyway, as I have grown, I have realized that people’s priorities change and what’s important to one of us isn’t the same as it is for another. When we were kids, maybe we were closer to the same path, but now…. with spouses and children, there are fewer and fewer similarities. That’s okay I think – but once you stop making the effort, it’s so easy to lose touch. Facebook, oddly, has helped some of us stay connected which is nice – sad- but… nice to be connected in some way.
Without going into all the drama, we had planned to attend Christmas Eve this year then with my Dad having a heart attack just two weeks before I wasn’t sure where we would be Christmas Eve. Medicine has come so far because within a week from being released from 4 days in ICU, blood sugar of 600, and cardiac enzymes showing heart injury he was ready to rally and make the trip down to my cousin Phil’s house for the evening. It was fun, great to see everyone, and at the end of the night I rallied everyone to take a family photo. I left my Aunt’s and Uncle’s where they were sitting on a couch in the smallest room in the house and worked around them. I asked everyone to sit on the floor – and they did!! 🙂 The end result was a group photo with a lot of smiles (probably in disbelief that I made them all sit on the floor) and quite a few laughs.
As I looked at the images from the night and checked who’s eyes were open or closed and who’s faces were blocked I found one curious thing from none other than the youngest in the room, my darling daughter Shea. Shea received a Monster High doll from Santa – a fine rebellion against Barbie – Shea is a spunky four year old with a mind of her own and a future that I foresee as a potential “ager” for me (and Shad). Really, at four, in a huge family photo this is what she and her Monster High doll Ghoulia chose to do. We’re so proud… NOT… perhaps this is why the invitations are fewer and fewer! 🙂