This weekend we celebrated my Mum’s sixtieth birthday. After much Secret Squirreling, we managed to bring together almost all of her family for a surprise, intimate dinner; quite a feat considering she is one of ten siblings, all of whom live in other states of the country. Consequently we packed out the restaurant and sent the waiters to Whiskeyville by the end of the night.
As you can imagine, Mum’s jaw hit the floor when she saw the restaurant packed full of her family. She was so overwhelmed and excited to see them all, it was a beautiful moment. All of the good vibes in the room got me thinking about family.
The subject of family has been explored far and wide through television. Shows like Full House, Family Ties and The Cosby Show showed us that although family can be challenging at times and has it’s ups and downs, at the end of the day it’s like a big decopage: lots of little pieces (the people) are held together by glue (family. See how I metaphor? Do ya?) on a giant duck (okay, I’ve lost the metaphor, but the paper’s got to stick to something, so why not a giant duck?).
Take Family Matters, for example. It tells us that even the most awkward, poorly-dressed, black sheep can be loved by family. It also teaches us that if we do something wrong, all we need to do is say ‘Did I do that?’ (preferably with a nasal twang) and family will accept us. Unfortunately I’m not lucky enough to have a Steve Urkel in my family, and sometimes it is up to television to teach us these lessons.
Like most people, I don’t see our family as often as I should. The thing about family is that, no matter how long it has been since you have seen them, they are still so familiar to you, and not just because you look the same. It gives you ready-made comfort, much like a buttercream cake from a box, only without those little silver cachous that will break your teeth. Family doesn’t change, it doesn’t desert you, and hopefully it doesn’t judge you (and when I say ‘you’ I mean ‘me’) for keeping in contact far less than you should. If I were paparazzi, the world would be finding out about Kate and Wills in 2030.
Call me selfish, but although the night was for my Mum, I got a lot out of it myself. It made me remember how happy and loved I feel around my family, simply because they are that: family. I hope that there will be another reunion soon, but until then I will strive to keep in contact, and possibly take a few fashion tips from Steve.