Warning: For those of you who only like the funny ones, you can stop reading now.
July is my family time (hence the recent spate of nostalgic photos). I am fortunate that both of my parents are still healthy and active, and I make it a priority to enjoy the quality time we have left together. There is a ten-day stretch from my father’s birthday to my mother’s birthday in late July that generally provides the excuse for a family event. Sometimes, like my father’s 80th birthday this year, it provides the occasion for a major family reunion, which we just hosted at our house this past weekend.
We all have these events in our families–landmark birthdays, weddings, graduations, bar mitzvahs, christenings–that give us the opportunity to see our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, take out the old picture albums, make new slideshows or videos set to My Way, We Are Family or Sunrise, Sunset, and reminisce about the good old days. The youngest members of the family are introduced to relatives they never knew existed and stare quizzically at their elders as they are educated about the differences between second cousins and first cousins once-removed, while waiting patiently to go swimming. The twenty-somethings proudly share their most recent academic achievements, exciting new career developments and maybe even introduce a potential spouse to the rest of the clan. The boomers put their best face forward spinning their stories in the most positive way, bragging about their kids and masking their mid-life woes as much as possible. The elder generation reflects on times past and the people who are no longer there, passing along family history and tales of their youthful exploits, while wondering silently whether they will see some or all of the group again at the next reunion.
And throughout the party we take more pictures and videos to share at future reunions. For anyone who’s interested, here is a slideshow of my father’s 80th birthday party made by my daughter.