Last Friday after work, Chris and I loaded the kids up and drove seven hours to Atlanta. Early the next morning, we got up and drove five more hours to a family reunion in Piney Flats, Tennessee. We spent the night in Tennessee after the reunion, and then drove the eleven hours home all day on Sunday. Normally, we wouldn’t have even considered driving that far in that short of a time period, especially with the kids. But, my grandma asked me directly if I would come. And Grandma doesn’t ever ask for anything. Ever. So when she asks a favor, I’ll do it every time.
(Bean was sitting behind me, so I couldn’t get as many “in car” shots of him. But he was there and happy, too!)
Actually, the drive itself was wonderful. The kids were in good moods and not one tear was shed during the entire drive either way. They were mesmerized by the mountains! Bean kept saying, “Wow, that’s a BIG rock!” and we would have to explain that it wasn’t a rock, it was a MOUNTAIN.
The reunion was a lot of fun, too. I got to meet an entire side of my family that I hadn’t seen since I was a little girl. I’ve heard my mom and Grandma tell stories about them my whole life, but it had been at least 20 years since I had seen them. It was so fun to introduce my own little family to them, and to know that my kids were part of this large, deeply rooted, deeply faithful, deeply loving family.
Because we have never lived too close to our extended family, I have always pictures myself as having a very small family. Just my parents and sister, my grandma, my aunt and uncle and their two kids, and that was about it. And that has always been enough for me. But I loved seeing pictures of family from generations and generations past. It is good to feel connected to something bigger than I can see in front of me.
(This is my grandma when she was in 1st grade…)
And I think I loved it even more because my own kids were there, too. It’s so funny because they feel like mine. They ARE mine. But they also belong to generations before me. They, too, are connected. Which blows my mind because I made those people, and here they are connected to pioneers and Civil War soldiers and farmers and horse trainers and all these people that have lived such different lives than me.
Family is good for the soul because it connect you to people, both past, present and future. It weaves you through history and gives your life a story. And that’s worth a car ride to me.