We just got back from spending some time with family. Glorious, glorius family. The immediate kind and the extended kind. The sorts you see daily to the ones you only see on holidays; the ones you talk to regularly to the ones who are names on your facebook site. Family.
No matter how close you are or how frequently you get together, there's always that tie that connects you. I love that about family. I love the way you can walk into a family gathering, even when it's filled with people you haven't seen in years, and feel almost as though are are walking into a conversation that has been suspended, picking up where you left off.
Family is the blanket that covers you.
It's the place you call home no matter where you may go.
Watching the kiddos get together at these extended gatherings is part of the joy. Cousins. 2nd cousins. Removed. Whatever. They're kids; they travel in a small world of ready made family and relationships. Every new person they meet is related to them in some way. "Hi! Let's go play!" And off they go, onward to hours of exploring, adventuring. Carefree, virtually tireless fun.
The start of memories.
There is something artfully unique about being a part of a family; whether you always get along or not. You're tied together, by that powerful and invisible gordian knot of coded history. Shared experiences, shared memories. No matter how much or how little time you spend together; or how often you check in or catch up, that knot is stronger than time itself, and infinitely more entwined.
I count myself grateful for the family I was born in to. And for the one I married in to a well. Two very nifty bunches of people, these.