I’m in New York for my cousin’s wedding. I was nervous about coming to a family event, which has be stressful and trying in the past. I’ve noticed that has been changing in the last few years. The biggest difference is now the next generation are young adults. They’ve grown up with me and accept me as I am in a way my generation, and more so the older generation cannot, because of their ideas of who I should be. This is incredibly liberating.

It turns out my Great Aunt S. is buried not from from the hotel I’m staying in. I was very close to her. I used to always hang out with her at these family events, so since she’s gone, they’ve were less fun for several years. My cousin D. drove me to the cemetery to see her, which was closed for shabbat. We went in anyway. It was strange to see her grave, and I didn’t expect to, but I cried. Also near her is buried my Uncle Abey who died when I was 14. He was a lot of fun, I remember him very well, and I had no idea it was the same cemetery and I had been there before. All of this was not fun but was that kind of thing that touches a part of me inside, a part that says, this is real, this is important.

Soon after that my brother & family showed up with my Mom and Stepdad. Of course, I’m always happy to be with my awesome Stepdad but the treat was my nieces. They are really different now, as young adults and not kids or teens, and really want to hang out with me. This wasn’t always true, and certainly wasn’t when they were awkward middle school kids. They are 18 and 22 and both gorgeous too. I had a great conversation with E. (22) who is thinking of being a field scientist. She just spent some time in the last few weeks in North Carolina trapping and taking data on alligators.

We all went out for a family dinner, the first cousins and offspring, and afterwards I joined my stepdad for a Manhattan at the hotel. He told bad jokes and tales of his various adventures. My Mom was actually convinced to have a drink and then she was kind of fun. I wish she’d drink more. A lot more.

Then my nieces and I went to the pool. It was about 9:30 at night. Some guys were gawking at them through the glass door. C.’s suit is very skimpy and she is very curvaceous, so there was a lot to see. Suddenly E. went to the door, opened it and said, “DO YOU WANT TO COME IN?”. Man, did that scare them off. I was impressed with her cleverness.

So, there’s a new dimension to the family thing which is, as long as my nieces are around, it’s a pretty good time.

People often say things at these events about “The Family” and “How we are” and sometimes “How us Jews are” and I think, you people don’t know. I am nothing like you. I can barely relate to you. I relate the best to my non-Jewish nieces and my Irish stepdad. How is that, when I am so Jewish? When Jewishness is so important to me?

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One Response to “a family event”

  1. I’m going to fly | the nerge on June 8th, 2014 11:11 am

    […] heard about AOPA through a cousin of mine whom I spoke to at the family event I just posted about. He flew to the wedding in his own plane, accompanied by his wife, sister, and […]

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