It’s a Monday holiday, and the kids are just getting going on brunch. It’s not all that special, but on a day when they can sleep in we can share a big meal together right away in the morning. Scallions and kielbasa are chopped, eggs stuffed into the blender, and a small debate ensues about what kind of spices go down early in the morning. A sprinkle of coriander and basil later, and the stove is gurgling with another family meal in the making.
Heaps of quantity time – and food – are what holidays and families are all about.
Many years ago, my kids and I had to learn together just what family is. We improvised a lot of things after their parents were divorced, but we also had guidance along the way. That includes this from Barney the Dinosaur:
A family is people and a family is love,
That’s a family
They come in all different sizes and different kinds,
But mine’s just right for me.
Not everyone might want to follow the Purple Way, but it’s still a good way to look at it. A more cynical old person might say that “family is what you’re stuck with”, but I like Barney’s version better. All that he left out was the food, great heaping quantities of food made together with as much fun and love as we can put into them.
Last night, for the big Fourth of July grilling, we had the pleasure of inviting my ex-wife over. It’s not something we’ve done before, but it was a nice way of showing how an odd family arrangement can still work. Though we may be divorced, my ex and I still have a “relationship” – and always will because of the kids. What that relationship is has always been up to us, and I happen to think we’ve managed it pretty well. Since neither of us wanted hateful, nasty brats we did our best to be adults and lead by example. It shows in our kids, I think.
More than just gathering as an odd family arrangement, however, is the food. That’s the excuse, should anyone need one, for bringing odd people together once in a while. Today the only excuse we need is that it’s a holiday and the sun is shining on a bright summer day. Not much more needed than that for a wonderful meal made together.
Well, the teenage daughter needs a little encouragement. Just a little. It’s not exactly early in the morning, but time to get up and have heaps of egg creation and time together. It’s what makes a holiday as much as … sleeping in.