Lately I've been thinking about family reunions. Not the 'small' ones like families who gather for birthdays, but those bigger ones. I read about them all the time, where three or four generations of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. get together for a grand old time of remembrance and family stories.
I have, in the past, planned two reunions. They were smaller than some families do. One was for the descendants of my grandparents, my Mother being the matriarch, her children, our children, and theirs.
It went pretty well, except for a few episodes of stories being told that embarressed some of the kids.
The other party was a camping weekend, which included Mike and I, our kids and theirs. One of my brothers attended, as did Mom, but they didn't camp out, choosing instead to visit for the afternoon and dinner.
That party didn't work out as well. It could have been that everyone was lacking in enough sleep, I don't know, but it seemed that people were all on edge with each other. There was some ornery behavior in a few, resulting in one family leaving early, and I don't blame them. If I'd been spoken to by that brother in that way, I'd have left too...or better yet, asked him to leave. They were all adults, but there were moments when those two acted like little boys. As for the adults, the eldest were Mike and I, and somehow the younger parents thought we should be the ones to cook for them, and clean up too, while they all went to the beach or to the playground or for a walk. It was the plan that each family would bring their own food, and prepare it for their families, and we'd all eat together. Eventually, when we were asked "what's for breakfast?" I got the point across by responding, "I don't know, what are you cooking for your bunch?"
Maybe a camping weekend wasn't the best idea for so many. We've done some weekends with family members at other times, and it's gone fine...but this time we had included other, 'strangers' (I say that because we don't know them well. ) Perhaps that was the difficulty. Whatever it was, there won't be another reunion that is so lengthy. In fact, with thoughts of that weekend, there may NEVER be another...not if I have to plan it! It is a lot of work to organize, and you just never know what's going to happen. The work wouldn't be an issue if you came away thinking, "Boy! That was worth every minute of the effort!" But when you get to the other side of the gathering, and come away feeling disappointed,
you might not be inclined to try it again.
I guess, only time will tell.