Greetings from the Kamikaze Family Reunion 2015, where we have taken over a beachfront hotel on the Florida Gulf Coast and stuffed it with children, all of whom are potty trained and growing like mildew on a pile of wet beach towels.
In other milestones, some of them are not even children any more - old enough to toss them the car keys and send them on an emergency grocery run for more red wine and breakfast cereal.
There are 25 or 26 of us here - we have not been able to agree on an exact number. Our mistake was in setting the little ones loose on the beach before attempting to count them.
The important thing is that we are all here and no one has lost their only pair of eyeglasses in the surf or left their wallet in a pile of sand on the beach at 2 a.m. and had to go back out searching for it at 3 a.m., or gotten into an argument with their siblings over things like Why do I have to Sleep on the Couch I Slept on the Couch Last Time You Did Not Yes I Did.
None of that is technically true, but when you are drinking red wine and listening to the surf roll in under a blue sky, surrounded by some of your favorite people, grievances have a way of losing their shape, like a sand castle built a little too close to the water. So yeah, our grievances are a pile of wet sand.
Except probably my big-sister-in-law is saying to herself, am I really expected to feed this horde of 25 or possibly even 26 people every single night just because I did all the grocery shopping and all of the food is in my room? That is probably a pretty well shaped castle right about now.
Meanwhile, the teenagers are beginning to stir. Soon they will wake, discover that they slept past the hotel breakfast buffet, again, and begin to assemble their own sand castle grievances. Why would they shut down a breakfast buffet at 9:30 a.m. ?Are they trying to ruin my life?
It's a good question, but I really don't want to revisit that sand castle. I am afraid that next week, after my tan has faded a bit and I am back to my soul-crushing job in the grownup sector, I will look back on that sand castle metaphor and start to squirm a little bit. Really? I will say to myself. Sand castle grievances? Why didn't you just write something about the moonlight on the waves while you were at it? I won't lie to you, there is every possibility.
From the sister-in-law archives: Like sisters only Mom loves you a little more