I think I am one of the luckiest people ever. I have the most interesting family, and this past weekend we all (mostly) got to be together for the first time in thirteen years. Well, my dad and his wife weren't there, and one brother and his family weren't there, but the rest filled the house just fine! And what fun for all the in-laws to be surrounded by so many Van Sciver's!
If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know by now that I am the oldest of nine children. The dynamics in my family are fascinating. The first half of us grew up in a traditional Mormon family, while the second half grew up in a single parent something-other-than-Mormon family. The kids at the top had a very different experience than the kids at the bottom, and yet put us together, and we still fit. Mostly. After thirteen years there are bound to be some rough edges, but all in all, I have a supremely cool fam.
Three of my siblings live in the Phoenix valley. My mom and her other half, David, were planning a trip to the area to visit them, and they invited my family to drive over from CA. Then it snowballed into the Colorado gang coming down and even my sister's family from Kentucky flew in. All of us together, except Ethan, who was missed.
It so happened that my very dear friend, who has the most fabulous house ever was going to be out of town that weekend and allowed us to stay at her house and host the reunion there. We had quite the time. My children loved getting to know all of their aunts and uncles, who mostly have just been names to them. Now they had faces and personalities and now they could begin to put families together with moms and dads and children. . .COUSINS! Lots of cousins! Now they know who goes with whom and how the Van Sciver puzzle fits together.
We share physical traits; we have common expressions and mannerisms; and we are undeniably different at the same time. But we have two incredible people in common. Two people who now live different lives apart from each other. Two people who have independently changed their first names. But two people who are forever connected by the years they spent together and the nine incredible children they brought into the world. The nine who have now grown to over 30. A remarkable thing.
My favorite memories: my little brother coming up from behind me, grabbing me, and throwing me into the pool. (Once a brother, always a brother.)
My mom teaching all the little kids how to knit.
Getting to gather around my Grandmom Baker on Sunday afternoon.
And having my sweet blog friend, Piper, fly in to share the weekend with me and my family! (more on that in another post)
I feel filled. Since moving to California, I have had very little interaction with my family, and I have had various bouts of homesickness for their familiarness. I have missed feeling a part of something big and warm and wonderful. I have missed all those people who know the ins and outs of me but love me anyway. It isn't perfect, that's for sure, but it's home. I love each of them and am so glad we share the same blood. It's so gratifying to me to see us all grown up and fulfilling our roles as spouses and parents and remaining siblings all the while. I am immensely proud of my brothers and sisters and their children. We're a pretty good clan, and I can't wait to do it again next year.