Once upon a time, the Queen had a doppelgänger- my grandmother, Baba. Baba had 3 children: my mother was the eldest, followed by her two brothers, named Uncle Qc and Uncle Boston.
Various fairy godmothers blessed Baba with 7 grandchildren: my mother had me, and each of her brothers had 3 children each. Behold, we so cute:
Cue many years of teddybears and squabbles, hysterical laughter and adolescent drama, broken bones and broken hearts. Uncle Qc and Uncle Boston each had minivans into which they piled up their families and drove to Montreal for countless family dinners around Baba’s kitchen table. Baba saw that it was good, and was pleased.
Baba died in 2007. The families wobbled – the nucleus was gone, the children were all busy adolescents/ young adults, each with their own lives pulling them in different directions. My mother created a new tradition: once a year, at every Canadian Thanksgiving, we would all reunite in Montreal (if possible). Behold, we so cute:
My mother listened as the 7 of us complained of overeating and named our food babies, and played Apples to Apples, screeching and laughing until tears ran down our faces. She saw that it was good, and was pleased.
My mother died in 2012. This time the family did not wobble. At the funeral wake, I listened as my 6 cousins discussed where and how the next Thanksgiving family reunion would take place. They had it down to each dish. So far, their plan has worked beautifully. Behold, we so cute:
The bond I share with my Quebec cousins is particularly close: I call them my almost-sisters. I like to believe that feeling is mutual, because otherwise, why would my aunt buy us matching pyjamas?
One thing I do not have trouble reconciling is how happy we were to be together and to share in Qc Cousin #2’s joy. The refrain that echoed in my heart throughout the weekend was “this is good”. The same refrain Baba and my mother had.
I, and everyone else present, saw that it was good, and was pleased.
Welcome to the family, Ben! I look forward to our many future family gatherings together.