We returned a few hours ago after 1807 miles in the newly acquired, and now very broken in, minivan, with DC, myself, Mama from So-Called Life, Care Bear, Fiesty, and Anakin. The kids did so great on the trip out, and remarkably well on the way back - considering how hard they had played and how much stuff was in there, and the fact that all the "fun was done."
I spend a lot of time with the kiddoes (hence the title of my blog), but Grandpa had so much fun watching them in action for many hours at a time. The kids had only met their second cousins or first cousins once removed, or whatever they are to each other a few times, and most of them had not been together since the last reunion 3 years ago when they were MUCH younger. I can't begin to express how much fun it was to watch them bond instantly. There were a few minor incidents - one threw another's brand new cars in the lake and the daddies had to go diving for them; one threw another's prized golf ball in the lake and it wasn't recovered; there was some minor hitting and a few raised voice incidents, but on the whole they were had so much much fun. They must have been totally prune-skinned by the end of each day, because they literally soaked in the lake water all day every day. They also built some mighty great sand castle villages.
I have to say that my siblings and I created some beautiful children and they're doing their part to create even more beautiful children in the next generation. There are now 15 great grands (12 were present) and there are 3 more on the way. Unfortunately, there was so much going on all the time that we forgot to get them all together for a group shot. RATS!!
My dad, the Patriarch, created a bit of excitement when he insisted on taking his first (and last, I would imagine), Jet Ski rides. He is 80 and claims that he has waited for this his whole life. None of us knew of this unrealized dream of his. My mom didn't want him to do it, but eventually went on a ride herself. The scary part was when Dad decided to go out by himself. We were a bit nervous that if something happened, we'd have a hard time getting out there to get him back in. But all was well - and he even slowed down his speed-demon ride when he realized his $1200 apiece hearing aids were beginning to ride up on his ears and in danger of flying into the water! He forgot to take them off! Thank goodness he used his good common sense at that moment.
Family reunions are greatly anticipated in our family. We don't do them often - maybe not often enough. But when we do get together, though there are times when we might get a bit irritated with one or another, we realize how blessed we are to be a part of this family. We had "church" on Sunday morning with no nursery care! One of the greatest moments was when we sang old Sunday School songs with the kids and watched them do all of the motions.
We all drove down the mountain with a myriad of memories, heading for our various and varied lives at home. Those who didn't have to drive so far had a bit more of a feeling of sadness when all were gone. Those of us who had two days to drive had the advantage of being REALLY glad to be home!
I will respond to the latest tag when I have a minute to think.