The last time my parents and their five children gathered was Christmas of 1997. Since then, they've added two children (via marriage) and gone from one grandchild to nine.
On Saturday, Katie makes her First Holy Communion. Such an event was a perfect excuse to lure my parents (and my brother, Glenn) here from Florida, and that, combined with the occasion of their 40th wedding anniversary, was a good reason for my other siblings to travel from their far corners of the world (Ohio, California and Alaska).
One sister arrived on Tuesday. Last night, I picked up my other sister and her family at the airport. My parents called last night to report their progress, and they are due to arrive this afternoon. The last tendril of the family vine expects to leave Ohio this afternoon just as soon as work is over.
I'm so happy. We're sure to have mischief of one kind or another.
I do have 6 or 7 (depending on the mood of the niece in Ohio) additional people sleeping at my home, which makes things crazier than normal. And the weather isn't quite the way I'd like it to be (cold and rainy instead of warm and sunny). And I'm not sure if the water heater will accommodate the extra showers and loads of laundry. But it's OK. It's temporary.
At some point, everyone will sail back (over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day) to their own homes. And it may be quite some time before we are together again.