Sunday, November 21, 2010

Family Gatherings

When you are young, you assume that the way your family does things is the way all families do things.  As you get older and begin to venture into the outside world, you begin to realize this is not always true.  Take, for example, a typical family birthday.

On Friday, my family gathered to celebrate my brother's birthday.  The plan was to meet at 6:00 at my parents' house, have appetizers of veggies, dinner, and birthday cake.  Those in attendance were my parents, the guest of honor and his wife, their four beautiful children, and myself. 

Here is your play-by-play:

6:05 The arrival of the guest of honor.  (He was lucky.  Once I arrived a little late for my birthday dinner to find everyone already eating!)  The munching of veggies is already in progress.

6:10  Dinner is served.  There is a table in the kitchen and one in the living room, however only eight of nine diners have seating.  No worries, Dad will sit at the counter in the kitchen.

6:35  Dinner is over.  25 minutes is a bit longer than normal for the main course, but there was a fight over remaining broccoli amongst the children.  Apparently, it is a family favorite.

6:45  Candles are lit.  It's time to sing Happy Birthday.  Unfortunately, some of us forgot to save our forks from the dinner course causing a delay as more forks are found.  We will all try to do a better job of remembering on Christmas Eve.

6:55  Cake has been served and consumed. 

Traditionally, this would be the signal to grab coats and head to the door.  The two youngest nieces, however, are still learning the process.  (They are only 4 and 6 after all.)  They begin to pull out games to play.

7:00  Game time.  Being the productive family we are, we have three games going at the same time.  Tic-Tac-Toe is happening on the couch,  Old Maid by the stairs and Dominoes in the middle of the floor.

7:10  Gathering of personal items.  Time to get those coats, shoes, purses, and anything else you may have carried into the house. 

7:15  Hugs and kisses and out the door.

That's right.  An entire evening completed in just over an hour.  I believe my parents are considering installing a drive thru to make the process even faster.


  1. I think it is time to speed up the process. I am sure there is some dawdling in there and it is slowing everyone down. I do believe the drive-thru would be a great success. OR how about having the meal blended all together and everyone could just be given a to-go cup? I like it!

  2. LOL too funny I expect your parents were ready to once again claim their empty nest as their own. Once you learn to live in an empty nest, one becomes very protective of it.
    I speak from experience...we have an empty nest...our little bird and her spouse will return this week..we'll have to remember our manners when others are in the house, no loud country music, wear our bathrobes etc. and Madi will have to remember NOT to hiss at her human sis and brother in law just because they are sleeping in her domain.
    Madi and Mom