Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Super Reunion

We were at a family reunion last weekend. I took more than two hundred photos. I noticed that many of them were not as well centered as I would have liked. I was disappointed in myself, then I remembered that I was balancing a baby in one arm while photographing with my *free* hand. Hmmm... I think that as long as I am balancing, juggling and multi-tasking I can expect a lot of things to be off center.

We made it to the reunion a bit after 8 in the morning, which was early, but there was an earlier crew. The early crew gets down to the Bay at about 5 a.m. to insure securing adequate space. By the peak of the gathering there were at least 150 of us. Somos muchos, and of course there were many missing and missed. We went early so we could park our Behemoth RV, The Green Goose. We brought a gazeebo for shade and plenty of extra comfy lawn chairs.

Alex and Max enjoyed skating. The night before the reunion we cleaned our garage (I almost spelled it gagrage) and the boys found roller blades and my roller skates. They mastered the wheels well enough to enjoy them the next day. Geoff brought his extra long skateboard and he made many trips towing children on the skateboard from his bicycle. There were several battles with water balloons and supersoakers, and as always there was a lot of good food.

Elias Ernesto has Geoff Super Soaked.

And there were many babies. Cousins of cousins and dozens of cousins. How distant are the relations? My grandfather's children, siblings' and cousins' children, their children and their children were there. Is that four generations? No one ever says once or twice removed. We just say uncle, aunt or cousin, mother, father, grandparent etc...

Hortensia and her 3 month old daughter Alma Elizabeth, Anaelda with her 5 month old son Gael and me with 8 month old Maria Olivia. Primas with their primos.

I love family gatherings when it feels like there is support and love all around. We look out for one another. The children are safe and adored, lavished with affection. There are extra arms for holding babies, extra ears and hearts for listening to a child's needs and interests. I have felt this way in Wisconsin, when Geoff's family gathers at Grandma Nancy's. It feels like I've got back-up. I felt this way on Saturday. Hortensia had Maria in her arms, then Kai held her, then Betí, then Elias and Elias Ernesto. I picked up Alma when she woke from her nap, and passed Jacob Cheerios to go with his lunch. We may not get together often, our relatedness may be distant, but the familial connectedness is strong and good.

Max and his grandfather's cousin Elizabeth share some talking time.