This picture was taken recently at my sister’s house on the occasion of my nephew’s 18th birthday. As far as I’m concerned, the people in this picture (and those who are missing from it) are my immediate family (on my side of the family at least). It’s my parents, half of their children (unfortunately), only two of the spouses (unfortunately), many of my nieces and nephews (and my own children — can you spot the Shield Maiden?) and my niece-in-law and great-nephews. By my count, there are at least 20 people missing (obviously not counting those children who have passed away, because I love them all but if they start showing up in family pictures, that’d be totes weird) (yes I did just say that).
In my mind, this is what, to paraphrase Candace Flynn, an “intimate [family] get together” looks like. I think I’m a little skewed, I get that. I know most families don’t have birthday parties consisting of over 40 people, but we do. We haven’t always, but as our family has grown in wonderful ways so have our parties. I think that’s the great thing about families: they get bigger. If you’re lucky (read blessed), they keep growing. It keeps the family as a whole young and generally happy. The kids you had all already been put through a 15 minute photo shoot in the house before their uncle forced us all out onto the porch for another four shots of the whole family (where we could all fit). For the most part, they’re still smiling. That takes a special kind of happy.
And yes, before I get any questions in the comments, I can name everyone in the picture. I know their birthdays, and probably most of their eye colors as well. People think it’s funny at times to intimate that because there are a lot of us, that everyone just kind of blurs together, but it’s not true (not particularly funny either). I know all of them the way a person with two siblings and three nieces knows their relatives because each one of them is different and special. The quantity doesn’t devalue the quality.
So, that’s my family. Most of it. Just thought I’d share.