I come from a pretty large family – both of my parents are italian and therefore there are lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins etc… on both sides. We were all lucky enough to grow up in the same 40 – 50 mile radius and so it was easy for my parents to make sure as children my sister and I spent lots of time with the family. It was important for them that we had actual relationships with our cousins. I am really thankful for that and realize as I grow older how rare that connection is in other families.
As with any family we all grew up and went our different ways. Some of us stayed close, others for whatever reason became holiday and birthday card pen pals. But that bond our parents nurtured between us as babies does not seem to weaken no matter how much time goes by.
Saturday we had four generations of Labriola’s at my parents house. I didn’t think much of it until we were all sitting together at the table. We don’t see this side of the family that often – we honestly could not remember the last time we were all together like that – but the beautiful part was the level of comfort had not changed a beat. My 84 year old crazy grandpa sat quietly off to the side watching his sons laugh and reminisce with their growing families. I caught up with my first cousins who I hadn’t seen in years and got to know their three adorable children who brought us back to our childhood – running around in wet bathing suits, begging our parents for permission to go in the pool for just a little longer and can we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a sleep over!!! Oh to be 6 again.
The best part of the day was knowing we all felt how special it was without having to say it. When everyone left we, of course, promised we’d make this happen more often and how silly we had let so much time go by etc… even though we all know there’s an excellent chance another 5 to 10 years might pass before we have a day like that again. But that’s OK. We did it and I am so happy we did. There’s nothing like the comfort of family and knowing no amount of time or distance can make that go away.