My mother organized a family gathering that we celebrated on June 1st. A collection of cousins, and their kids, some I had never met, came. Afterward, there was an unexpected let down. So many people and so little time to interact beyond small talk.
For the next few days , following the event, I’ve had a “woulda/shoulda/coulda” feeling. You see, if a person is presenting a party, they are busy with meeting the needs of guests instead of enjoying the people. Certainly, watching our children, and grandchildren, making brand new family friends was a joy. I was overwhelmed though, with people whom I was unable to fully appreciate and subjects I was unable (because of limited time) to talk about. My cousin, Debbie (pictured with me above), made a 5 hour trip and spent 5 hours returning home after our mingle.
For those an hour or less away, I had little time and I have a heavy heart about that fact. Although we live relatively close, we do not gather for years on end. A smaller, more intimate gathering would do us but to “make time” for those many smaller gatherings doesn’t seem doable. Work, and family duties are many and it’s a burden to ask too often. My sister suggested a catered event in the future which would lighten the load upon the party organizers to afford more real “visiting”. I believe, with a family so large, there will be the inevitable regrets, even still. Some folks are going to be “left out” whenever there are so many. Having the duty (a wonderfully fun one) of photographing the event, also sadly, puts the “photographer” outside of the mingle. Next time, I believe buying disposable cameras for each family, might be a better way to get a more varied and complete “picture”.
I would love to hear suggestions about how to make a large party work without the extravagance of a wedding reception.
It was a fun day and, those who could not come, were missed.
Ha! If you had come, I probably would have ignored you guys too! At least, the no-shows kept my regrets fewer.