This New Condo sat empty most of this weekend.
On and around most holidays P pretty much sets our schedule and our home base is usually his place so he can better control the agenda.
We attended services at his church this morning and then off to his Mom's place for Easter. Easter includes dinner, an egg hunt AND three birthday celebrations.
His full family and all it's extensions are almost all locally based. Nearly every holiday is marked with a gathering at his mother's house in the burbs. Certainly any holiday that includes a meal of some sort. P's family is pretty big, and growing! One niece has two little ones now, one nephew is recently married, a sister is recently divorced and re-married (it happened very quickly, QUITE the scandal), the teens all bring their boyfriends or girlfriends... it's a scene! There were 24 people at three tables for dinner this afternoon! P's father passed away when he was not yet 10 and so his is really the only presence missing from the gathering.
By contrast, my family is pretty small, and all spread out. I have a brother who lives overseas and my Mom is out west. My Dad actually lives here in Atlanta by a twist of fate that brought us both to this city (me from Oregon, him from Minnesota) just months apart. Family gatherings even when we did all live together were pretty low key so this big family gathering thing is a little intimidating for me.
Intimidating and a little uncomfortable. In all honestly I don't really enjoy these gatherings. Even though it's not my favorite way to spend an afternoon however, I always leave a gathering with P's family thinking two things:
1. How the hell did P come out of that group? Seriously, no family is "perfect," but it's saying something when he and I walk in there as a couple and we are the LEAST controversial relationship in the house. When the gay son/brother/uncle and his boyfriend show up and it's not even CLOSE to the most salacious bit of family gossip, that's pretty telling. Having said that I should say that I'm so lucky to be in love with a guy who's family accepts us without reservation. Never once has there been anything but kindness from any member of his family towards me and I'm quite honored that they expect me now at their family events.
For the record, my family is similarly accepting and P is always invited to the limited number of events on our family calendar as well.
2. From P's Mother's perspective it must be an amazing, powerful feeling to look at a house full of people and think, "I did this." What an awesome sense of accomplishment to look into a great grandchild's eye and know that her actions ultimately resulted in that life, and it's mother's life, and it's grand father's life... It's times like these when I wonder about becoming a parent. It's fleeting, but there's a twinge of remorse that I didn't provide my parents with the possibility of finding 24 lives that share their genes at home for a holiday.
I hope y'all had a nice Easter as well. I'm off to have a hard boiled egg and some Jelly Bellies!