Family reunions are funny things.
They are usually dreaded events that actually turn out ok.
Dreaded cause there is time to over think them, remembering painful long weekend with the parents ignoring us while we ran wild. I have a vivid memory of when all the adults in my family smoked, except my dad, and them sitting in the kitchen in Silverstream wreathed in blue haze getting blotto (that’s a polite and old fashioned way of saying shitfaced).
This time last year I had a brain wave and I should know to ignore those. Somehow I followed this up with saying to my dad and Dors that we should have a dad’s side reunion.
This idea was floating along quite nicely without any great need for action, nor a date and a vague idea of a location. Until cousin Jen and her son Zane were killed in a car accident last Mother’s Day.
Then it was the cousins who wanted a reunion and the old generation who were like "organise it and we will be there". And then some stipulations like accommodation standards and types of food.
Then it needed to fitted in between other family events – these would be celebrations I wouldn’t be invited to mind, and never mind either cause now I’m in two minds about this family reunion with a date and a location and me organising it.
Let’s clarify the cousin relationship here.
There are four siblings and the first Aunty Prue had two really big kids. Then the other Russell’s had three girls, the Pecks had two boys and a girl and then my dad, the late starter had me, a boy and a girl.
As with families of cousins there are bands of ages.
I’m the tail end of the eldest cousins, then my bro is in the middle and naughty groups and the my widdle sister Pippapotamus is a baby of the babies.
I was a little too young for my older cousins but so not hanging out with my naughty, somewhat dangerous middle cousins. Maybe it was just me being awkward in between and let’s face it when you only see your cousins every couple of years, it’s hard to be friends like your parents expect you to.
So early next February I’ll be dreading the family reunion and then on the last weekend you’ll see me enjoying myself in Rotorua (yuk) with my family doing white people* things, talking about lost photos and experiences and getting some context to so many things that start to make sense with adulthood.
*This in contrast to the upcoming Muti family reunion which will be full of typical Tongan family things…eating and eating and eating, screaming with laughter at the expense of some poor fool and more eating.