Upon getting to know our family, one of the most frequent remarks we get from people is that we are unusually close. I come from a family of four girls and all but one of us live within a five-mile radius of one another. Our parents are also nearby and it is normal for us to get together several times a week.
Some weeks are more hectic than others, but no matter what we spend Sunday afternoon together. We always prepare a big lunch. The women in the family busy themselves in the kitchen putting together sides for the meal while the men stand around the grill outside enjoying a beer. The children, of which there are five with the sixth due any minute now, spend the afternoon running around my parents yard and playing on the swing set they are rapidly outgrowing.
Last weekend my parents gave them all plastic rakes and shovels and they assisted my dad in cleaning the remaining leaves up in the yard. The weekend before they helped my dad select the perfect spot for a birdhouse and then they all took turns helping him hammer it into place. My dad has a talent for making manual labor seem appealing.
When we have had enough outdoor fun and it is finally time to eat, we all pile into the dining room and make a table made for six somehow seat ten adults. It is my hope that this Sunday tradition will be one of the fondest memories Anders has of his childhood. I want him to grow up valuing his family and the time he spends with them.
Currently, Sunday afternoons are a favorite time of the week for Anders and his younger sister. They love the chance to play with their cousins and spend time with their grandparents. I hope it’s a tradition we continue into their teenage years. I know our company will someday be less appealing, but perhaps the appetite of teenage boys will give us an edge.