August 12, 2010

Family Ties

Meet the Grands... One drove cross country, another jumped a ferry, several drove in from the north, the west, and the deep south. If you can imagine, we still had 8 missing! Yep, we have 24 grandchildren in our family. (The grands are now starting to have their own children, but I can't count that high yet.) We all got together last weekend for my father-in-law's surprise 80th birthday party. Even with the 200 odd guests, we still managed to stick out from the crowd. I was lucky enough to capture this shot as they grouped together to chat about their lives and to see who was taller than whom!

Belonging to a large family can be difficult at times, but I am very grateful that I do. You see, I come from a family of four... I have one sister; I had my own room; I didn't really have to share; I could hear myself think. These things are unheard of in a large family. It took me some time to get use to, and truth be told, it still overwhelms me at times. But I have learned a lot too. I know that in times of need, these people will be there for you, no questions asked. And whether you like it or not.

As I sat back to take it all in last Saturday, I was reminded of all the times we've shared together to celebrate holidays, the birth of another child, weddings, family reunions, countless birthday parties, and everything in between. These kids have (almost) seen it all.

I listened to their stories of boyfriends, girlfriends, school, and work. I marveled at how this next generation slipped back into big family mode – their own secret club – as easily as they glided in and out of their flip flops. I laughed as I heard them exchange remarks about their aunts and uncles, sharing secret glances or a roll of the eyes as if the rest of us didn’t know what they were up to. But what really made me happy was to know that in 5 years, 10 years and beyond, they will still be there for each other.

And that’s what a big family is all about.

(P.S. We had waaay too much salad.)


BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Kimberly,
What a fabulous shot of the 'Grands'. You are lucky to have such a big family. I'm the youngest of four girls - my Father was a trooper - he actually enjoyed being surrounded bu all those women! I bet your FIL was surprised, what a grand birthday celebration he had!
Bon journée,

Kimberly Merritt said...

All those women indeed. Hubby had 5 sisters that whipped him into shape!

My fil had a great time. Thank you.

Sandy Merritt said...

We are so blessed! This picture is priceless!! Love this post.
Your sister,