... and thank God for that!!!
Today I got to spend time with both sides of my family. Not everyone was present, but a good time was had by all. First my mom and I drove down to Waco (~ two hours) for my cousin Samantha's graduation party. Sam went to five schools in five years, and changed her major a few times too, but all is well that ends well, because now she has a degree in business administration from Tarleton State (I think....). Congrats to her! Most of my mom's dad's side of the family (my mom's parents were divorced when she was young, both of her parents remarried, it's a long story... my grandmother says we put the "fun" in dysfunctional) was there, including three aunts, two uncles, and four cousins.
After we ate dinner, we drove home from Waco and I drove to Plano (~45 minutes) for my grandmother's (my dad's mom's) 70th birthday. When I got to the party around nine (three hours after it started... not so fashionably late), there were still a ton of people there. (My family LOVES throwing parties.... when I left around midnight, there were still many people there, and I'm sure they will be there for a few more hours). I got to hang out with ALL of my first cousins on my dad's side (my siblings were dearly missed... I love them, a lot) and quite a few extended family members, friends of the family, and of course the occasional "I have no idea who this is but they seem to know me so smile and hug them" person. Today is also my cousin Richie's thirteenth birthday. He is the youngest cousin on that side and it is so hard to believe that he is a teenager!
If I could have chosen my family, chances are that I would not have picked the family members that I have. We're all so different, but that's what makes us awesome. When I am around my family, there is nothing less than 100% reality, there is no one to impress, no point in being anyone but yourself, because they have to love you (and they already know all of your mistakes anyways!)
Tonight as I was driving home I thought, "maybe I should join a convent so that I can pray for my family all day everyday (because trust me, keeping up with them would be a full time job)." I'm fairly certain this is not the best reason to "discern" a religious vocation (haha), but I want to make a better effort to pray for the needs of my family. (It would also be really awesome to have a priest in the family!) Once I asked my sister what we were going to do when we had to bring boys home to meet the entire family and she said "I don't know, they'll leave us!" My future husband (if I'm called to marriage) is going to have his work cut out for him (if he sticks around after meeting everyone!) We really are dysfunctional, and scandy to the max.. but the Lord knows that and of course my future husband will be able to handle it... he'll probably fit right in.
Saint Eugene de Mazenod, Patron of Dysfunctional Families (not kidding, you can't make this stuff up!), pray for us!