It is very good to get feedback. Last year’s reunion was not well attended but we had such a great time. Enchild did an amazing job at getting his backyard and pool ready, the temperature was warm, and the company was terrific. My kids and I were on the east coast for 2 weeks, and I packed the 14 days with so many activities and so many events because I wanted them to have a great time. I tried hard (too hard) to create “magical moments” for them. I expected the family to be busy with work and their own lives so I underestimated their willingness to spend time with us. Some of my family members hadn’t seen the boys in over 10 years! How time flies.
So here I was, trying very hard to create these family “magical moments”. From the moment we set foot at Babo’s house, the kids were in their “moment”- as was I. It felt so good. Babo’s house has always been a home filled with love. I always felt welcomed there. From there, we went to Enchild’s house and you should have seen how bugged eyed they were to see that basement of his. A theater! in a house? Wow! More magical moments with Enchild. And then Kettelye came, and the kids always had a soft spot for Tatie KiKi. Then to Frantz’ house. Despite Kettly being ill and facing surgery in a few days, she fed us and took care of us. The kids didn’t know them at all, so it was bittersweet for them to meet her.
We kept a list of all the cousins they met that weekend. They couldn’t remember everyone but, as Carlo’s daughter Sophia used to call my kids “cousin” , that’s how they referred to everyone. Cousin. Tatie. Uncle. It was about family and they felt connected, and that was my “magical moments”. We had lots of them.
I continued on with our itinerary, but the kids didn’t want to go. They were happy to be with their family. I could only promise them that next year, we were just coming to to be with the family. I wasn’t putting much thought into planning the reunion until Tony called me asking me if I wanted to go to Enchild’s birthday party. I got the invitation and had put it in my wishlist. I didn’t hesitate and Tony was generous enough to make it happen. From the moment I saw him and Charles at Long Beach Airport, I exhaled. It was nonstop pure joy. Those two are something else. Never a dull moment in their presence. When we arrived, the bitter cold (temp was 8 F) was just a background thing. We laughed of course about leaving the warmth of the west coast to this blistering cold that had a name that I don’t care to put in my brain, and ChaCha said, “Don’t they realize that they have a choice” to leave this cold? It was a great weekend. Don’t think I slept much. The look on Enchild’s face when he realized we were in his basement was truly priceless.
It seems that my “magical moments” tend to include my family…..
We didn’t have much growing up in Queens, but we had each other. We had family. I had the best cousins in the world in Max, Pouchon (Gerard), Nadja & FeFe. I had Uncle Gerard whose belly would jiggle when he laughed. Chiquita & I had Uncle Toto who picked us up on Fridays to take us away from the busy house of ours. His apartment was always so much quieter than our home, and it was great to have an adult’s undivided attention. That man always has a warm place in my heart.
So at Enchild’s birthday party, Tony got philosophical on us. He can get emotional that guy. He was talking about us being with each other and needing to talk more. We all enjoyed each other’s company but he felt a sense of sadness because we’ve all lost touch. We talked about the family reunion and wanted to make it not just a fun event, but a time when we can sit and talk and get to know each other. We do want many “magical moment”s. There will be time to have a great time but we are hoping that we will leave upstate NY on July 6 feeling closer than ever before. We are creating a mentoring group consisting of multiple generations from different families. A group will typically consist of a preteen, teen, young adult to 25, 25-40, and >40. We want these groups to meet everyday during the reunion, and to continue the relationships between reunions. The groups ideally will consist of different family members and we will leave it up to the groups to decide their own agenda.
This is our reunion and everyone is welcomed to contribute. If you want to write a blog, let me know………………………….
Love! Laugh! Live! Liline!