I’m in the midst of writing a post about our giant Eyre family reunion to hopefully publish tomorrow. It was grand and I loved it so much. But right now I’m working through the question of navigating reunions when your kids grow up.
Because that’s happening for us.
And it’s kind of unchartered territory.
Since I have the oldest kids of anyone else in my family, two are now married AND we have a grand baby, I think reunions shift and change a tad. And there are some growing pains with that. Not only for me, but for everyone else too.
Can you “have your cake and eat it too” at family reunions?
Now, let’s be clear that there’s so much I love about this. In some ways it’s like I get to have my cake and eat it too. I get my smaller family to huddle with and love on, but I also get my siblings and parents and all their kids to love, all in the same place.
But it’s also pretty tricky to stretch my heart so much. I want to “be there” for everyone. How can I snuggle up Murphy in a corner and squeeze out some big smiles AND get on a deeper level with my nieces and nephews and figure out what makes them tick. I want to delve into worries and concerns a brother may be in the midst of AND talk hang with my husband in the middle of the chaos. I want to find time to ask my parents things about their lives AND glory in my sister’s latest accomplishments. It’s just a lot.
So, can you really have your cake and eat it too at a giant reunion? I’m working on shifting my vision a little here.
When your “big kids” move away and use reunion days as part of their time off, you want to soak them in with everything you’ve got. But you also want to use the precious time together with the bigger group to reconnect in ways you didn’t get since last year.
So, blah blah blah, it’s tricky.
I think it’s tricky for everyone else too. It used to be that we would put the little kids in bed at night and have all kinds of time to sit up late at night on the “talking couches,” solving all the world’s problems. And gradually we have come to a stage where practically all the kids are up all night right along with us, playing games and baking cookies and joining in the conversations too. I adore it. The best time to get to know all my siblings suddenly “big kids” who are growing into themselves. But just so many people to love!!
Things are shifting. And it’s just so interesting to watch how the “growing pains” work their way out.
We’ll take who we can get as our family grows up!
As kids grow and spread their wings, Dave and I have learned to take who we can get when we get them. We bask in togetherness when we can get it. So grateful we were able to have our own gathering “reunion” a few months ago. And we are learning to make the best of the times when not everyone can come.
This year at the reunion we were so grateful to get this crew to start off:
Claire is living her best life in London, so we tried to include her as much as we could from afar.
Oh how I loved having these big kids there, with the chance to really be in amidst my siblings and their kids. On our traditional sunset walks:
Or on boat rides glorying in Bear Lake beauty:
…and also the ski boat with the other cousins:
On sharing Murphy …
Ok, am I biased or is that brother/sister with Murphy pic just the best??
Let’s throw in a few more of Murphy because boy is she loved!
That girl is a spitter just like her Aunt Gracie was!
There is something so special to me about watching these big kids of mine out leading on the “dance floor”…
…and sitting in deep discussions with my siblings and in-laws.
Lucy arrived after coming late with my sister-in-law Aja straight from girls camp.
They had the best talk en route and oh how grateful I am for all these “second-parents!”
She came filled up with all the glory she gained at camp and I loved that she ran down to the beach and gave each one of us the biggest hugs. She was so excited to spill the beans about all that happened there to those siblings of mine she trusts so much. Jo took her straight out to paddle board.
It was so good to have Dave join in:
Since he couldn’t get there until Sunday night he missed Carson and Max who had to get back for work.
Again, we’ll take what we can get, right?
Luckily these guys stayed and we got to sneak off for raspberry shakes before they had to take off too.
I guess in the midst of pondering navigating reunions when your kids grow up, I’m just grateful for this spot on earth.
This spot that is big enough for all of us as we try to stretch our hearts around every last one.
Thanks Mom and Dad for making it possible!