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I Was Beat From A Branch of My Family Tree

When I stood beside my husband, in a small church before our entire families, I never really gave much thought to what I was doing. I was almost five months pregnant and I was just happy my white dress hadn't split down the side seams.

When I promised to have and to hold, to love and to cherish my husband it never occurred to me that I wasn't just making that promise to my husband but to every member in his family.

I hadn't quite realized at that stage in the game that I wasn't just marrying Boo but I was in fact hitching myself to his entire family.

Luckily for me, his family happened to be my kind of people.

A cousin's motor home. They rolled in and small children screamed.

It felt just like being at home.

Family reunions are a novel concept to me. My side of the family tree just doesn't get together unless someone is about to be buried. Even then we don't get together without whining about having to see long lost relatives. I've got cousins I've never even met and couldn't identify out of a line up.

Boo's family actually know each other and for the most part they seem to like one another.

It was like being in the twilight zone only with more beer and hugs.

It was interesting to watch my husband's family interact with one another. No one was swearing, there were no fistfights and no cops were called.  I kept hearing this weird unidentifiable sound and I was shocked to learn it was laughter.

Suddenly, I was Dorothy and I wasn't in Kansas anymore.

I somehow found myself strapped to a board spilling a bucket of water all over myself. Because what says family bonding more than mocking and laughing at your relatives as they prove they make arses of themselves in games of sport?

There was a rousing game of pass the baby, the object being who could snag the newest member of the family and hold her the longest. Sadly, I didn't win this game but not for trying. This family is apparently filled with baby-hungry women whose uteruses ached slightly with each quiet coo and sweet smile the chubby child would bestow.

It was Jumby's first reunion since joining our family and he too, made his mark. Literally. He bit my boob three times and my neck twice.

Of course, no reunion would be complete without having to try and explain what exactly it is that I do for a living. I quickly gave up trying to explain what a blogger was and how I made any money and went with the old standby:

"I write about my boobs and the pay is pretty good."

Of course, right about then my husband would roll his eyes and wish for a sock to stuff in my mouth.

There were moments my heart would crack and my breath would stop. Moments when I looked around and noticed how the children had all grown, and how there are new children. I couldn't stop but wonder what my Bug would look like now if he were still alive. Family events like these tend to make Boo and I misty eyed for the boy who once was.

Still, the joy outweighed the sadness and a good time was had by all. As I sat and watched the generations of this family mingle and laugh as they reminisced and created new memories, I was struck by how glad I am to be able to give this gift of family to my children.

They learned this weekend their roots run deep and they are surrounded by people who will always share this moment in time with them.

They may have also learned that their mother is gullible and easily tricked into being whacked on the head with a wooden spoon.

Which, of course, explains the stunned look on my face in our family picture. My brains were still rattling.

Darn in-laws. They'll get you every time when you aren't looking.
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Reader Comments (25)

I love family reunions and from the looks of yours I think we could maybe possibly be related =)

You have a beautiful family!

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergeorgie

Is that REALLY the RV of someone in your family? Because if it is, I want to be in your family. Adopt me. That is the best EVER............

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

You have skills that would get you a job at a tabloid paper. Blocking out peoples faces with electronic smudge LOL

great camper.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLarryLilly

Yep, that REALLY is a family member's camper. You should have heard the horn. It was AWESOME.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRedneck Mommy

Weddings and funerals - that's where my family reunions happened too, growing up.

The family of my MiLs brother seem to have quite a few family gatherings at their place, through the year, but we very rarely, if ever attend. Part of me wishes we could go to each one, as I miss the gregariousness of my group of friends back home and see these family get-togethers as a good replacement, but the underlying family dynamics were in place long before I was on the scene and are just exacerbated by our unruly DSs, so I just leave well enough alone!

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark (Dudge OH)

Aw. This reminds me of my inlaws.

And also makes me want to get a tattoo in an R.V. park.

If we didn't go to family reunions every single year, surely we wouldn't have discovered our pet dog underneath Cousin Darnell's trailer when he was just a ball of puff. He's a good dog.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy

Is your hair different? (Either way, it looks FANTASTIC!)

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHi, I'm Natalie.

I have seen that RV so often and marvel about the "rack" on the front. They truly are your people. Love all of those goofy games that get played at reunions. We like to play beersbee at ours

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhabanerogal

You have an adorable family, and I like that your mysterious husband wears a watch, which says a lot about him. But what the heck is that game you are playing with the board and the bucket of water?

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNeil

Ahh ... family.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTravis Erwin

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OMG! I passed that lovely motorhome on my was to a wedding this weekend! Who knew it was related to you, what a hoot!

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMar

Ya might be a redneck if...yer the only bare foot one in the bunch. LOL! Looks like y'all had a good time. Like you my familyusually only gets together when we put someone in the ground. Uless we announce there's free food & all the beer you can drink.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I think I want to be adopted by your family. Immediately, if not sooner.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Becky

Looks like a great time was had by all!!!! :)

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKyooty

you have such a wonderful family, sweetie.

god, i'm sad you won't be in nyc in august.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeb, i obsess

ahhhh The notorious Skull-a-bego.

I think I have 6 people in my facebook friends list who actually try to take photos of this darn RV when it is downtown... like a damn contest!

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDanita

Okay, the world just got a bit smaller.

I'm from Cold Lake, a town where Skully was famous among a bunch of people. I could never forget that camper parked outside the bar...

Very cool that he is your cousin, though!

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlaine

This makes me wish we had family reunions. Although that might be too much crazy packed into one venue.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEsther Crawford

Good to see someone else was participating in family reunion bliss/torture this weekend. It's amazing to see how much we all change and yet stay the same at each reunion. Everyone always seems to have a good time amid the horseshoe pitching, cow pasture golfing, bingo playing, and cow patty frisbeeing.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWayward

Love the RV. I, however, read it from my geek's perspective. Instead of tattoin', I read it as "Tattoin", the planet in Star Wars. Not quite the same thing.

June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAll Things BD

My family is tiny, only 12 of us in all. it blew my mind when I met my hubby and found out he had 100 cousins. I can't imagine what a family get together would be like with his family, I just thank god we haven't had one yet. Can you imagine trying to feed them all? *shudder*

Your face is awesome in that picture.

My brother drives a kidnapper van with a pirate flag covering a window and "Captain Vantastic" written down the side.

He doesn't kidnap anyone though.

I don't think.

I feel like we could be sisters.

July 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMama Kat

Very nice post. =)

How come you blur Boo's face out in some pictures but not all?

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSilvana

I can't remember the last family reunion I attended. We're missing one on my hubly's mother's side of the family because he's playing a big festival in Seattle. But I'm glad you had a good time, and that it was a surprisingly good time. I like those kinds of surprises.

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly Loomis

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