Friday, July 13, 2012

Family Reunion Season

The food, the fun, the close-talking uncles, it’s family reunion season here in the Midwest.

Husband and I have both been lucky to have great families who love to get together. My family has an annual reunion that we look forward to each year while Husband’s family gets together less frequently but with more travel.

This summer we have back-to-back family reunions and I’m starting to see a pattern in the types of people who attend.  There are the same types of people at each one--of course they are family so we love them all. See if you can name the people in your family who fit some of these:

Power Couple - come in from an urban center with their teen kids and work the room talking to everyone. They like to organize.
Great Aunt - knows everyone and keeps up with all family goings-on. Can rely on her to tell you an embarrassing story about your Dad/Grandpa in his youth.
Cousin Wallflower - you're not sure why he/she bothered to come since they don't talk to anyone who doesn't already live in their house.
New Mom - thinks she's the first woman in history to have a baby. Brings four bags to an afternoon event.
Reluctant Spouse - sitting in the corner pouting because he/she doesn't care enough to even try to be friendly to the family.
Uncle War Hero - you really do like to hear his stories but the 30th re-telling of his big battle is too much.
Cousin Surprise - had a major life event that no one knew about until he/she shows up with a new baby/spouse/tattoo/gender, etc.
Tsk, Tsk Grandma - “Did you see what she was WEARING? Really, I don’t think he needs that second helping of pie. Can you believe they are moving AGAIN?”

View of my annual weekend-long camping family reunion.

I first posed this theory on Facebook and several of my own cousins and friends posted some of their reunion types. Here are a few more inspired by their comments:

Teenage Mutant Bored Cousins - They would rather be ANYWHERE but here and remain glued to their phones all weekend.
Overwhelmed Mom - hasn’t had an arm or hip free in four years. Her kids are… where are her kids?
Vague Avoider - this relative doesn't directly answer questions about themselves or a direct relative who is surprisingly not in attendance. Generally the reason for avoiding the truth reveals itself at a later date/future reunion. The Vague Avoider many times evolves into Cousin Surprise.
Betty Crocker - follow her from the car to the table or else the coconut cream pie will be GONE. You want to ask for the recipe but who are you kidding, you’re the one who brought Jello and a bucket of chicken.
Long-lost Klan of Unknowns - they seem to be multiplying right before your eyes. Who are they?
Conspiracy Guy - you don’t know how you are related but he freaks you out. He seems to know a little about a LOT of subjects and isn’t afraid to spout all of his ideas.  Tip: seat him next to Uncle War Hero and slowly back away.

I think it’s important for my kids to know their family and have relationships with aunts, uncles and cousins of all stripes. I’m excited that I can see my kids playing with the kids of some of the cousins I used to hang out with at the family reunion.  

Morgan and her friend and distant cousin at the 2010 family reunion.

So, if your great aunt calls to invite you to picnic shelter number 12 this August, pack up some deviled eggs and a batch of cookies and get your kids (and spouse) out to spend time with the family.

Who knows who you'll get to meet.


  1. Love it. No view-from-the-top-of-the-staircase-down-into-the-living-room photo of a family gathering for you. Nope. Your family gathering photo is shot from above ... from the SKY. Seriously, HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?

  2. Holly, thank you for the laugh. You did a good job. I spotted myself as the person with the bucket of chicken and where's my kid. I cannot wait for the sequel.

  3. Fantastic! I love it!


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