Sunday dinner with my family is complete chaos. People are scattered everywhere-from the living room, to the dining room, to the kitchen, to the porch. There are literally people everywhere.
And it is loud. Really, really loud.
But it's happy. And totally entertaining.
It's confusing and strange to outsiders, this Sunday tradition. Not because we all have dinner together, but because of who attends.
My nephews and their wives and children are there. My nephew's aunt on their mom's side(who is no longer married to my brother) and her husband and kids show up. People who aren't really family but "are", such as a friend of the family who all the kids call Pops but is of no actual relation is always present. The best friend of my sister and her family randomly visit and her kids don't know that Granny J and Pa Carney aren't really related to them. My sister and her husband come down. And of course mom and dad and myself are always present.
Sunday Dinner is one of my favorite times of my week.
It's usually pretty relaxed, except for the occasional "Stop jumping on your brother!" or "Where's Zoie" panic attack. But none-the-less, even at those times, it's basically relaxed. Everyone pretty much takes care of themselves. Well, mom DOES cook for all of us EVERY SINGLE WEEK(and we are eternally grateful for this!).
There are kids and dogs and cats always under foot. The adults are discussing this Sunday's sermon or talking about hunting/fishing. We talk politics and then move on to who's gonna be in charge of cleaning out the lily pond.
My mom always, ALWAYS, has a job for the boys to do. And it usually involves them cleaning up something gross or lifting something really heavy. Which, in turn, involves the other girls and myself standing around watching them and laughing at their strained faces. For example, the previously mentioned cleaning of the lily pond. It had been all winter and the pond hadn't been drained, so the water was a bit, stagnant, to say the least. And Mom said(like always), "I have just one thing I need done." And it was cleaning the "schmootz" out of the lily pond. So, out go Dusty, Lance and Jeremy to clean and the kids, Kesha and myself to watch. Now, this water was really disgusting and it had this smell, ya know? Like this putrid dirty, old water smell. There was lot's of gagging involved. And laughing. Oh there was indeed laughing.
And there was also a lot of deep thinking involved when trying to remove all the mud and the liner. Such as, "What if we tie this really big rope around it and pull it out?" or "Maybe if we hook it through it and then connect it to the back of the pickup and drag it out?" And when it finally worked, after Dusty was nearly killed by the first attempt the huge rope/army thingy(that's a technical term right there) coming lose and flying at rapid speeds towards his head, Lance looks out the window of the pickup and says with utter amazement, "Holy crap it worked!"
It's those events that make Sunday dinner so much fun and absolutely enjoyable.
It's the times that everyone is gathered on the porch and you look towards the edge of the yard and there sit Micah and Alexia(2 of the babies)just talking. Not playing or fighting, just talking to one another. And when you ask them what they were talking about, Alexia says, "I was just telling Micah about roots and how they work."
It's those times that make your heart hurt with love and joy.
My baby nephew Lance, who will soon have a baby of his own, said once, "Sunday dinner with our family could be a sitcom. And people would watch!"
We might seem a little out of the ordinary, but that's probably because we are.
And we may seem like we a have a lot of problems and issues, but that's probably because we do.
But we love each other. And we learn each day to be more compassionate and forgiving of other's faults because we probably have the same ones.
There are times that I think that the world's problems could be solved at those dinners. I mean, we have some great ideas! Granted we don't always completely agree with one another, but come one, neither does our government.
But seriously, I think that if more people had Sunday dinner like my family does, this world would be a better place.
I never laugh as hard as I do when one of my nephews and I are going back and forth picking on each other or others.
I never feel as loved as when one of the "babies" runs up and hugs me for no reason other than they just felt like it.
I never feel as safe and as secure in myself as I do when my mom and my dad and the rest of my family are there to support me and encourage me.
And I never feel as blessed as when we can all talk about, together, what an amazing God we serve.
If the rest of this crazy world had a support group like mine and a meeting every Sunday to hash out their problems, I think it just might make a difference.
At the least everyone would laugh more.