Wednesday, 25 February 2015
At Family gatherings I always end up at the kids table. Maybe people think 'I am down with the kids', or maybe it is just because I am short. I dont see it as a snub, I see it as they are missing out on things.
"knock knock!", "whose there?", "door", "door who?", "Mr Door!" laughter. Yep it was glorious.
The mobile phones of the older ones came out, the little sisters asked if they could play. There were a few small tussles over this and some strops with arms folded over chests, deep breaths and evil eyes given. Then the teenagers relented and let the little ones help.
There was a small fight when someone accidentally drank some one elses drink. This got quite heated, the two brothers trading a couple of digs and then there was a punch.
My Eldest Great Niece threw herself off her chair came around, stood between them and loudly proclaimed "We dont fight each other! We love one another. Now shake each others hand, hug it out. Now tell everyone you are sorry for upsetting everyone. We are lovers not fighers.". She looked at me and winked. This is her new thing. She can only do it with the one eye, but that one eye made me a little misty eyed.
You see, that little disagreement, and her little speech not only means they are growing up, it means that what we say to them, really does sink in. Even when they are 7 going on 25 and roll their eyes at you dramatically when you ask them to help.
To calm the little ones down I told them a story...
A long long time ago, in a school play ground, a girl fell down and a boy she had seen at the local shop helped her to her feet. She was 12 and he was 14. The boy left school that year, as they did in ancient times. When he was 16 he went to a local dance and the girl taking the tickets at the door was the girl that had fallen. Her older Brother was there and told him and his friends to move along.
Later the boy got up the courage and took her a drink. She thanked him. He asked her to dance and her Brother refused on her behalf.
Every month at this dance the Boy continued to ask her to dance and her Brother refused, this went on for 2 years.
The Brother then went away to do his National Service. This is what used to happen, all young men went into the Army or other Service to learn to be Soldiers to protect us.
The next month the girl was taking the tickets at the door. The boy asked her again to dance. With no one to refuse on her behalf they danced, 4 or 5 songs that night.
From then on they were never apart except when the boy had to do his own National Service. Even when posted to the Far East, thats East Asia to us now. He sent her letters constantly and when it would have been the dance, he wrote her a letter with the words of the songs they had danced to the first night.
*by this time the teenagers are rolling their eyes as they have heard this story at a thousand dinners and are bored with it*
When they were married she wore the most beautiful dress. They bought a house and had children, they taught their children to love one another.
They still love to dance and as I looked through the glass door towards the sitting room that is just what my Mum and Dad were doing. Dancing in the bay window, whilst watching the older boys kicking the football around in the garden.
In the porch of my parents house there is a plaque that says
'Love Resides Here'.
I couldnt agree more.
I forget some times that my Family, where it may feel like there are too many of us compared to 2.4 children house holds. That the more there are of us the more Love there is.
My Family are my Gift.