This past summer, I hosted a week-long family reunion at our rural home. My sons and their families live in large metropolitan areas in other states, and, as I don’t see them as often as I’d like, I was quite excited about everyone being under my roof at the same time. Too, I wanted my citified grandchildren to experience country life a little.
Preparing for the Reunion
My husband and I went to great lengths to prepare in the months preceding the reunion. He got our huge backyard looking like a country magazine photo, even building a new fire pit. I cooked and baked for days preceding the event, cleaned house until it sparkled, and scoured yard sales for second-hand toys and outdoor games for the grandchildren. We purchased air mattresses, set up extra living quarters in two spare bedrooms, stocked the freezer, arranged the garage as an extra room to gather in, and set up an extendable awning over the deck in case of rain and to shield everyone from the sun on hot days.
Disarray and Chaos
During the reunion week, I took the grandchildren hiking, to the zoo, to a reforestation camp, and wildlife preserve. I shopped with my daughters-in-law and took short sightseeing trips with them. The house, even with everyone pitching in with housework, was in constant disarray. And chaos. The washer and dryer were in continuous use, the bathroom floor was often strewn with wet towels and children’s swimsuits after forays to the nearby river, and one person or another, it seemed, was always in the shower.
And the noise! Small children chased cats down the hall, screaming to hold them. The kitchen and sliding doors leading to the deck and backyard slammed open and shut constantly. Loud music shook the rafters. Adults and children stayed up until well after midnight, playing and talking and laughing downstairs or outside around a campfire.
Was It Worth It?
On the last day of the reunion, utterly exhausted, I lay on the sofa gazing about the living room. The floor was covered with suitcases, duffel bags, dirty clothes and sneakers, blankets, laptops, sleeping bags. Was it all worth it, I wondered? Could I do it again? I was not a young woman any longer.
Then the soft murmur of voices caught my attention. My three granddaughters—five, four, and three—were seated in front of the TV watching a children’s video, their tiny bodies swaying in time to the soundtrack. Now and then, the oldest of the three would stop swaying to explain to her younger cousins the sequence of events on the video. They would then whisper back and forth excitedly, giggling softly.
I felt my eyes moisten. Yes, I thought, it had all been worth it. And I would do it again.
Barbara Weddle writes from Kentucky.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.