Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Fence Photo

Every summer my mother's side of the family has a family picnic in our backyard. These started back before I was born, but on my father's side of the family. My grandmother and her sisters would all rent out some sort of picnic space in a park, there would be 3-legged races and potato sack races and games. From the first summer after I was born, I've got pictures of me at these things. Then, when I was older, my mom had the idea to start one up on her side of the family and have it at our place, which is complete with swimming pool. On my father's side the picnics stopped being organized, but my mom's side ones keep on going, though this year's felt smaller than usual. Not sure if that is because I am older or if there were less people. This tradition has been joined by the Kerr's annual Christmas party in Toronto, which I haven't attended since 2000, and a birthday party for my Nana and her twin in January here.

Family parties seems to always follow the same path. At the picnic, there are hamburgers and hotdogs barbequed by my father. At some point someone came up with the wonderful idea for sundaes, with tons of fun candy toppings. There is swimming. There is someone thrown into the pool with their clothing on (this year all we got was an attempt). At winter parties, there is always lasagna - regular, vegetarian, sausage/spinach. The deserts brought by the grandmothers are always the same too, and my father always scores some Nanimo bars. There are always those plates of veg, cheese, little pickles. They are reassuring in their continuity. The only different thing every year is trying to figure out which tall person was last year a short, younger cousin and how bald the uncles are this year.

This year, Daniel and I were doing rounds of Corona. The cousins all hung out in the family room, with poor Victoria's boyfriend being mocked for being so emo (looked like that guy in AFI) and Charlotte being teased. Basically, cousin Christopher is turning into an uncle. Amusing. But he had to be taken down a peg by reminding him of his proposals of marriage to both Ali and I when he was about 6. Andrew is the only one of the cousins (I use the word cousin very generally to encompass a rather wide selection of relatives) generation to have kids - Charlotte and Drew even rock-scissor-paper-ed to see which of them would have to reproduce to carry on their branch of the family. Apparently my lack of interest in kids is not out of place in my family. Though, aside from Ali and the twins (also childfree), I am the oldest by some years. Interesting when contrasted with the aunt/uncle generation, full of four child families.

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