A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

All Grown Up Now…..

on August 7, 2011

I wanted to share a few thoughts that I wrote back in September on the eve of my aunt and uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary……

I grew up in my aunt’s house. Every weekend. Every summer. Every holiday break. I was there. Ever since I was small, it’s the same house. She’s the only one in the family that I know that still lives in the house she lived in when her two youngest were born. They grew up in the house also. The house is a character in and of itself. It is a family member and a beloved one at that.

 

Standing in my aunt’s kitchen, I made meatballs and remembered…..remembered all the family parties in that house ever since I was little girl, remembered Christmases in the basement, Thanksgivings sitting at the kids table, graduation parties, birthday parties, baby showers, baptism parties, 1st communions and just good ol’ fashioned get-togethers. Those were carefree days. Days when I thought my aunt simply directed the work done put into it and little more. I was a child. What did I know except that I wanted to play instead of clean?

 

Little did I know that when I slept, she was still up cooking, cleaning and organizing. She and my uncle made each event special and personal – there was always something just for that event, just for that one person even if that person was Jesus on His birthday. In that house, I grew up cradled within my family and learned that no one is perfect. I also learned about forgiveness and that blood really is thicker than water and family does for family. Family first – that’s our motto.

 

Tonight, I stood there as an adult, about the same age my aunt was when she was preparing for all these parties and events. Mama’s and Papa’s played in the background just like it did when I was child. There was laughter just like when I was child. There was frustration just like when I was a child. There will be last minute runs to the store just like when I was a child. All to celebrate two people who’ve made so many other lives sparkle. Two people who held together when the rest of us and the world fell apart. Two people who contributed hugely to my definition of family.

 

I delight now in making all the late night preparations to finally FINALLY celebrate THEM!!! We are that generation now. And although the house looks ever so much smaller, a huge amount of people will gather there tomorrow. We will share memories, love, laughter, tears and of course, a whole lotta food!

 

…..and now we come to the present. Yesterday, while at a family barbecue, I was once again reminded that we are the middle generation. Our kids now play together as we did when we were young, forming those vital relationships that will take them into their adulthood. Although I don’t feel any older or any different, the earmarks of time were all around us. They were in my cousin’s greying hair, in the laughter of our children and in our conversations which now are peppered with the pressures of being an adult.

 

What I treasured most of all was our desire to be a family. All our differences, all our personal nuances were put aside in order to just be together. I’m working harder than ever now to put each and every single moment to memory. Someday, they may be all I have…but not anytime soon, God willing.

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