Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We are such fragile people!

Yesterday, we were invited to a Labor Day picnic with all of the families that my family used to hang out with "back in the day." It was a good time and my kids had a ball...for me it was also a time to ponder some "deep" thoughts about how fragile and forgetful people can be.

When I was growing up, my parents were very social. We went out every weekend...Friday was pizza night...Saturday was friend night, either we went there or they came to our house. A weekend wouldn't be complete unless those two nights were filled with friends, laughter and lots and lots of pizza. So needless to say, we, my brother and I, spent a lot of time with my parent's friends and their families. We "grew up" together.

Even with all that history, why is it so awkward to spend the afternoon with my "cousins?" Are we that shallow or that forgetful or that different??? It just seemed strange to me how awkward it was and that made me uncomfortable. I found myself thinking about the future for my own family...will there be a day when Ettemas, Deckers, Jacobsens and Nepkins force our children to come to a Labor Day party and our kids will act like they are surrounded by strangers? I guess it really wasn't that bad...in the end the atmosphere got more comfortable...but still it made me kind of sad when I thought of my own kids. How does the human mind forget friendships so quickly?? How do a group of kids who grew up together find themselves in such different worlds as adults? It's just strange.

If anyone of you went to a Labor Day picnic yesterday you will know that the bees were vicious! And they were everywhere! They literally swarmed around your head, buzzed in your ears and were constantly in your food. Early on in the afternoon, my mom got stung on her hand, right by her thumb knuckle. She was pretty brave about it but that really hurts. Her thumb swelled up and got really red, she couldn't bend it by the end of the evening. I too got stung. Dam bees! Right on my back! I was fishing with Christian & Jed and went to scratch my back and BAM! It hurt so bad. I was not brave like my mom...I was a baby! Got all weepy and flushed, it ruined the rest of my evening. After a while the pain got better but it was always there, mixing with my thoughts, invading my conversations and just plain making me crazy. And I thought again, how strange we humans are that a tiny bee could sting me and ruin my whole day. Sometimes we think we are so strong and in control when really all it takes is a tiny bee sting to halt everything we are doing and invade our lives.

Even today, the morning after, my mom and I are still miserable. We are so fragile!

Hope you had a good Labor Day. Spent time with good friends. Had time to reflect on human nature and learn something about yourself!


kkoois said...

i know what you mean about feeling awkward around the kids you grew up with that were your parents friends, too. my family has been doing the same kind of get together on labor day for several years now. i think that when you are kids, it's easier to be friends with anyone. as you grow up, you start to form your own experiences, likes, dislikes, etc. you go your separate ways, but then when you are all back together, you are expecting that it will be just like it was when you were kids. but, it's not. it's like you are strangers and are meeting each other for the first time. it's almost like you are "forced" (i don't mean that as harsh as it sounds) to be friends with these kids because your parents are, but as you get older, you have formed your own life and they have not been a part of it. i don't know if that made any sense, but it does in my head...

JD said...

I get it, Kim (and MB). I feel like that with my cousins of all people. And these people are the ones that I should have relationships with because they're family:) But like Kim said, we grow up and grow apart and our lives are not connected like they once were, but yet we're connected by a "technicality" (boy, how is that for harsh?) so we have to see each other and to some extent pretend to be interested in what each other is doing. I've found it gets easier to do all of it once we've all had kids - because then we have a common experience to talk about.

We recently had this with a family birthday party on Dave's side of the family. Since his parents live in Virginia now they weren't attending but we decided to be good grandkids and go anyway. We couldn't have been made to feel more unwelcome by almost everyone... It was almost like since his parents weren't with us, then we weren't really part of the family - not so bad, but close. It was awkward and needless to say it was the last time we go to one of those.

I hate awkward moments at any time, but the ones where you're "supposed to" not be awkward seem worse, don't they?

Carol said...

BZZZZZZZ! Did I scare ya?
Sorry you got stung! Yuck!
I think it's kinda neat to see how people turned out. Did you ever have a secret crush on any of those kids? Did you ever think one was a mean, spoiled-rotten punk? How did he/she turn out? When we decide to get together in 20 years for Labor Day, let's remember these feelings and not guilt the children in feeling they have to go. That'll just mean more wine for us, anyways!

Mommy Brain said...

Kim~I think it feels so forced because we go with the idea that it "should" be an easy thing to socialize with people we "should" know so well.

jd~I too hate the family thing...that is, I agree, way worse! We have had that experience many times on both sides of the family. It's one of those things that makes me feel bad for days.

Carol~Buzz right back at you! I was the oldest of all cousins and friend kids...so no crushes. I guess I've always felt stuck between the adults and the kids. hmmm???