Just returned from a family trip to a secret compound in which I was given the pleasure of watching my children play with nieces, nephews and assorted family members. What fun.
Much of the time I sat and watched as they devised all sorts of crazy plans to con their aunts, uncles and grandparents into supplying them with enough junk food to place them all on a perpetual sugar high.
It is with great pleasure that I readily admit that they are smarter than I am, all of them. From the smallest to the largest they all best me. Fortunately I have a little life experience on them which enabled me to stay one step ahead of them.
Imagine for a moment one infant, one 2 year-old, one 5.5 year-old and a 6.5 year-old hanging off various parts of my anatomy (and that is just the boys) and you will begin to understand why my body feels like I just finished participating in the UFC.
Picture young girls with makeup and a desire to make an uncle look pretty and or beautiful and you might understand why I am reticent to go see La Cage Au Folles.
Consider what it would be like to have a room full of young children and adults listen in rapt attention to stories told by a 92 year-old great-grandfather about what his life was like in his younger years.
If you can picture these things you might have an inkling of what it was like.
I have more sisters than you can shake a stick at and for a brief time we were all together. For a moment we gave the spouses the responsibility of watching the children and we sat with our mother and father. The room felt empty. It was so very quiet.
I looked at the youngest and I looked at the middle sisters and wondered where the time has gone. It seems silly to say it, but last week we were stuck in a station wagon. I was 12, the only boy and it felt like my sisters were always bothering me about something.
Trapped in the station wagon the youngest let their older sister manipulate them and so they worked as a bloc. Together they complained to mom, “Jack is bothering us. Jack hit me, Jack poked me” etc.
There are so very many stories that I could tell. So many trips in the car. There are the stories about how we fought and some of them are pretty funny, but the pleasant reality is that there aren’t that many.
The man who gave it spoke about fierce loyalty and described how my siblings and I have always leaned upon each other. He described this protective nature as a fierce loyalty that he wished he could see in every set of siblings
He is right about that. The old cliche is right, mess with one of us and you end up dealing with all of us. It is comforting to know that my siblings are always there to help me.
In a couple of days we are going to be split apart again. My sister will leave and the cousins my children love so dearly will go with her. The family will be torn apart. It is a little unfair to say it that way, but it is how I feel.
I wouldn’t stand in her way. She has a life outside of our hometown. She has friends and her husband’s family. The kids have a life their too and they would miss it if they had to leave it, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t wish that they would move home.
Such is life. The most important thing that you can do is to love your family fiercely. Hold them and keep them tight.
My sisters think that I am a big tough guy. Do me a favor and try not to tell them how much I miss them, I’d hate for them to think that I am getting soft in my old age.