Anniversary Party

We headed out of town one last time for an anniversary celebration. We had no idea that we’d meet such fun and interesting people. Patrick’s aunt and uncle were celebrating their 10th anniversary, and they invited his family and her family to celebrate with them. I met some of Patrick’s cousins who I’d never met (and there were so many, I’m not sure I’ve got everyone placed right!). The boys made friends with Patrick’s uncle’s nieces and nephews on the other side of the family. It helped we all stayed at the same hotel with a pool, because when you’re six, all it takes to make friends is a pool, some goggles, and a competitive (or cooperative) spirit.

Patrick’s aunt hosted a beautiful party on Saturday, despite the oppressive heat. Kiddos got their faces–and arms–painted, and they challenged the balloon man to make pirates, pirate ships, swords, crowns, and all sorts of things. I don’t think anyone asked for a puppy dog, which is what every balloon artist starts with, I’m pretty sure. This crowd was cosmopolitan. The food was great. Seamus indulged his newfound love for crab cakes, and even Gilbert could be convinced to sit and eat.

What was really fun–aside from the kids in their matching shirts–was the sense of family and community. I always enjoy seeing people gather and celebrate being part of a community, even if they don’t agree politically, religiously, or otherwise. It is also astounding how people can be raised in the same family and come to very different conclusions about the world, or that two people raised in very different families come to similar conclusions and decide to make a go of it. A few years ago, the family gatherings we attended convinced us that we were ready for more children. That’s not the case this year, because we could see how much fun we’ll be having in a few years when they get just a touch older, but we also feel that having a bigger family was right for us. Anyway, we are also grateful people will host us, now that we’re a big commitment!

Happy anniversary, John and Denise! Thank you for including us in your celebration!

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