After a big family gathering, I tend to ponder the very chill nature of my family. They love kids. Both sides. Energetic, loud, messy kids.
At the reception, after the memorial service, several of my aunts, uncles, cousins came up to me to tell me how great my boys were. It was nice to hear. Evan was a rock star. Sean was a squirmy worm. And Aidan demanded to be let out half way through. But what would you expect for a two hour service?! If I had known it was going to be that long, I would have packed books, toys, crayons, and drawing pads. Their Father dealt with Aidan. One aunt stopped to tell me how adorable Sean was smiling, waving, and leaning against me. Those brown eyes could fool any one.
When I talked to my grandpa the next day at a family get together about my active boys, watching my boys and their cousin build a car city with boxes and tubes my uncle found for them, he patted my arm and said with a laugh, “It’s better than the alternative.” Yup, loud, active children were better than the alternative. He would know. He raised nine kids.
On New Year’s Day, at my mom’s family’s get together, I watched my brothers rough house with five boys as I stood, talking with my cousin, the father of two of the boys. We compared our boys and the things that drove us insane. Another cousin came up to us and said, “It’s like old times.”
Me: Except Grandma doesn’t yell at them by being near the cappa di monte.
The cousin: Really?
My older cousin and I exchanged looks.
Me: No, she moves them because she worries the boys will cut their fingers on them.
My older cousin: She would have whooped us good if we had come that close.
Me: No kidding.
During dinner, while we were sent to sit at the families-with-kids-table, we were encouraged not to force our kids to eat. Our boys were indulged to go to the “grown up” table and mingle or rather, sit with their grandparents and eat their dessert. After dinner, the ruckus began.
Grandma-great: Lord, there has never been such noise inside this house! Get them outside!
My older cousin and I exchange a look. I could hear my grandpa’s voice, with a touch of amusement and sarcasm, “Git outa here, now.”
My older cousin: Her memory is going.
Me: No kidding. We were at least that loud.
My older cousin: Probably louder.
Yup, it’s better than the alternative.