Monday, October 26, 2009

October is Birthday Month ...

... in my family. Today is my Dad's 84th, two weeks ago, my mother turned 81. My brother (who's been spending a lot of time here lately doing home projects) hit 57 early in the month. (My sister and I have July birthdays.)

The proximity of my parents' birthdays to one another led to a wonderful family tradition that went on for 10 or 15 years (traveling up for the get together is a bit too much for my dad now). Sometime each October, the whole family would congregate for dinner in a private room at a local historic inn. This included my parents, Skip and me, my sister, her husband and 4 boys and my brother, his wife and 3 kids. After dinner and coffee, every one in the family would talk about his or her year.

I loved the stories from my nieces and nephews. We'd hear about sports, school, boy scouts, travel. Year over year, it was interesting to see how they grew both in the nature of what they reported and their ways of reporting.

I liked the adults' stories, too. One year, my brother-in-law spoke very movingly of the death of his father earlier that year and how that experience added insight into his relationship with his sons. Even the occasional guest was expected to join in the storytelling. My mother has a very warm spot in her heart for one of Skip's brothers who spoke very movingly about our relationship and my care for Skip during our civil union ceremony in Vermont in 2001. Ever since, he was a perennial invitee to the party and always gave his updates when his turn came.

On Wednesday, I'm heading to the Cape to join my father in a meeting. Afterwards, we'll head back to their house to join my mom for a nice dinner. I'll love seeing them and enjoying their company, but this write-up is making me long for a full-out family gathering to hear the year's stories from all the generations.


zoomdoggies said...

I love the idea of an annual family gathering where everyone recounts the events of their year. Late November to mid-December is birthday month in our family -- me, my dad, my daughter, with thanksgiving thrown in there. I'm wondering how we might adapt this idea, somehow, with whoever we can round up. It could be a "first annual" tradition!

Cranky said...

Zoom - I hope you can make it work because it really was a wonderful exercise for our family. Proof of that is that some of the kids would be all primed and ready for their report-out because they'd thought carefully about what they wanted to say in advance.