That’s just the fairly local ones, not quite 1/2 of my family. I come from a large, prolific (obviously) and close-knit family. We are all a little nuts, but that is what makes life in a four generation family interesting and fun.
The Generation Overlap
The first generation is, of course my parents who have been married over 53 years and still hold hands and kiss in public. I am in the second generation along with my eight siblings. All but the youngest are (or have been) married and have children. The third generation consists of 41 grandchildren ranging from not born to 31. Now that the third generation is starting to reach adulthood and the fourth generation has begun. There are 11 great-grandchildren ranging from not born to 6. Of course the third and fourth generations are overlapping which means that everyone has someone their age (or close to) to play with.
Semi-organized Chaos Reigns
Thanksgiving gatherings are held at my parents. We potluck these family gatherings so that no one person has to do all the work. We use paper plates and plastic utensils for easy clean up. The fun part is finding room in the refrigerators and dancing around each other in the kitchen as we put the finishing touches on our feast.
There is a lot of talking, laughing and even chaos when you have a large group of people in a smallish space. It is, however, something we look forward to. Memories are reminisced. Siblings get caught up on growing families and life dramas. New family additions are celebrated. Cousins get to play together creating life long friendships. Games are played after dinner.
My parents, being the patriarch and matriarch of the family, will often retire to their master suite about halfway through the day. Everyone goes up there singly or in small groups to spend time and have quiet conversation. My parents have found that they like this arrangement because they can listen to the laughter and be out of the chaos.
At the end of the day cleanup is a group effort. We try not to leave one person to do all the work. The leftovers are split up between families using each family’s dishes. We all take turns at the sink washing or drying. When my parents have had enough the end is announced with some variation of the following, “We love you all, please go home.”
I am thankful for my family and the fun we have together. This Thanksgiving I had a bonus gift that fills my heart with even more gratitude. My first grandson was born.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!