There wasn't a chance I was going to miss this birthday party.
* * *
I love going home to my parents' for get-togethers.
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't somewhat for the food.
I'm a shallow creature.
My little girl still finds me and stands at my side when we say grace. I love that she still wants to be near me. She still likes to have my help getting her plate. Later she plays blithely with the other kids but she still comes to check that I'm around now and then. I like that. I like being needed.
I may not be her only source of nourishment anymore but I can rock an oversized, clumsy bottle of ketchup like only a mom-star can. That always keeps her coming back, hot-dog in hand.
I come home for the people too. This is one of my beautiful aunties.
And here she is with her handsome husband.
And here, after they accused me of stalking them.
I often have that effect on people.
Luckily, most of the time those people are family and they can't get rid of me.
And another lovely auntie.
Oooooooo, and a baby.
With Aunties come cousins.
With cousins come second cousins.
And on and on and on it goes...
Until you suddenly find yourself bursting into a loud and rowdy edition of We Are Family...
You're kidding me!
You don't do that?
Oh yes, back to cousins.
They grow up before your eyes and you watch with wonder as they find their soulmates and get married. Then you start pestering them about babies.
They come in ones and sometimes twos.
(Can you spot the twins?)
Soon they are old enough to ride off into the sunset to seek their fortune.
And they become fathers themselves.
Buzz? Why are you lying there like that?
I said Buzz-Bees, NOT Buzz, freeze!
With that we will strap the baby in his seat.
And we'll head East, toward home.
Jiggity-Jig in NE