Stuck in the Middle with You
Yesterday we celebrated Tall Boy's parent's 50th wedding anniversary. Yes, you read that right, 50 years. It's more of a feat than you can ever imagine. Not only because they got married (a second for both of them) when dad was 32 and mom was 16 and pregnant with Tall Boy's older brother Mike but because they really just don't like each other much.
The gala was a blast though, considering how thrown together it appeared as we got closer and closer to the day. The food was a great mix of restaurant sides (pulled pork, corn bread, baked beans), home-made (potato salad, pasta salad, garden fresh string beans) and grilling (hot dogs and burgers). We had a huge tent set up to help us stave off the forecasted rain and nice glitter-covered tables with Lindt chocolate favors.
Tall Boy's family doesn't do gatherings very often which is the polar opposite of my family. We'll do anything to get together whereas they go into their events grabbing onto the floatation devices tooth and nail. Usually, when all is said and done, they've had a blast together but going into it you can see the fear and panic on all their faces, worried about whether or not they can pull off a few hours together without a bomb going off.
As is par for the course with them, we did in fact have a terrific time, particularly once Tall Boy's brother Tommy Tomskin rooked us out on to the dance floor by taking a request from my nephew's wife for "Billie Jean". We ended up dancing the last hour of the party away while occasionally checking in on what kind of damage Bam-Bam was up to.
What strikes me every time we get together with his family, though, is how in the middle he and I are among the group. Tall Boy is the "oops" baby that arrived 11 years after his parents were sure they were happy with their family of six. His oldest brother was 17 when Tall Boy came along and started his own family just a few years later. Tall Boy became a great uncle at the ripe old age of 31. In fact, our nephew's son is only two years younger than Bam-Bam. So, at gatherings, our role in the family is that of child to Tall Boy's parents and sibling to his brother and sister but when it comes to age appropriate points in our life, we fit in better with his nieces and nephews. His siblings are starting to be come grandparents and we're discussing preschools.
So, starting with the beloved MJ tune, we cut up the dancefloor squashed between the generations: Mom and Dad, his brothers, his nephews, Bam-Bam and his nephew's little guy Noley. We departed at the end of the night saying, as we so frequently do, that we'll have to do this again sometime. Christmas is right around the corner.......