I Used To Think I Had A Big Family….

Now I know better. When you have 6 kids, 28 grand kids, and 12 great-grand kids, you have a big family. And that’s not even including boyfriends/girlfriends, fiancées, and husbands/wives.  My Grandma Roth has 5 kids, 9 grand kids, and 2 great-grand kids. My Mom had a great idea getting a table made that can seat 22 – but with spouses, significant others, and now grand kids that isn’t enough space. For tonight they rented 4 tables, a crap-load of chairs, plates, cups, glasses (bubbles, water, wine), and cutlery. As far as I understand the rental place actually washes them because all we did tonight was rinse them and put them back in their buckets. We just have to rinse the glasses tomorrow. And fold the tables and chairs. Most of the clean-up (minus the house itself) is done. It’s almost 1am.

Bastien didn’t actually go to bed until just after midnight. He was really well-behaved tonight. He had kids to play with! I read him two stories. I rotated with Adeline and Jean’s cousin Marie and some others to watch them upstairs. Sylvain was really good too. He didn’t even get cranky when he did have his bottle till almost, or just after, 8. Normally by 6:30 he’s ready for it. Maybe it was the late hour he had his snack (almost 5, normally he eats it around 3:30-4) combined with all the people to interact and play with. Actually, all the babies were pretty good. Bastien even buttoned up his pyjama shirt ALL BY HIMSELF! Woah. He also undid the buttons on his vest alone. I had to undo his shirt because those buttons were a lot smaller. Although the pj buttons weren’t that big…but maybe the holes were a bit bigger, I don’t know. Either way, I was proud and surprised, as were Mom and Dad.

Now, maybe you’re wondering about the food. Because 50 people, that’s a lot to feed. I know with my family whoever hosts the meal usually makes the meat and some other hot stuff. Others bring the dessert and cold sides and buns and things. Adeline ordered bread from the bakery, but the rest of the meal was brought by everyone else. Including all the wine and bubbles and pop and stuff. So in that way it was less stressful than our Thanksgiving even though there was way more people. A special thanks go out to Jean and Val Ou who stayed to help us clean up. Others helped gather plates and things before they left, and of course everyone took their leftovers. And it was all buffet style so there was no need to set the tables or have room for food on them. This made things a lot easier.

I am now in my 3rd or 4th wind of the day which is the only way it’s possible for me to write this lengthy post. Plus I’m actually on my computer which makes it a lot easier. Cousin Marie – she’s about 13, 14…I don’t actually know and I’m horrible at age guessing – is a huge Justin Bieber fan. She’s great with little kids too. She had the kids sitting on Bastien’s bottom bunk while she read them a story which involved some actions on their part. I filmed it. After supper she approached me in the kitchen – “You’re Canadian? Do you know Justin Bieber?” – all excited like. Of course I know of him, I said, and I did actually see him once. She asked me if I preferred his hair longer of shorter like now. Since I’m not a fan I don’t really pay enough attention to him to have an opinion. The not being a fan thing is mostly to do with my age and his. And the fact that I think singing about something you know nothing about – *cough*love and relationships*cough* – when you sound like a young girl is a little ridiculous. Maybe I’m being overly judgmental. Shame on me. I said – in regards to the hair – somewhere in between. She agreed with me. I told her that if I happened to see him again I would tell Jean and he could let her know. She thought that was great. Who knows, maybe it will happen. Maybe I can ask him to say ‘hey Marie’ so I can tell her he said hi. I think she would like that. I could be all ‘dude, can you say hello to one of your biggest European fans for me?’. Don’t ask me why the dude is there.

Tonight was – at times – a little overwhelming. Definitely not as overwhelming as it would have been a year ago. Considering more than half of the people who were here tonight were people I was meeting for the very first time it could have been a little much, but I just took it in stride. I forget most of their names. I didn’t even learn a lot of them. I will say coming back home and meeting new people is going to be strange. I’ll have to remind myself not to go in for the mock-cheek kiss and shake their hand instead. I guess in my family we greet with hugs and well, yes cheek kisses. But those cheek kisses are real kisses. Here you touch cheeks and kiss at the same time. It’s just different. The only reason I did that with these people was because they’re family. If I was just meeting someone on the street or something there wouldn’t be kissing involved. Not the first time. I remember when I went to London and I met Martha’s flatmates (who were both Canadian) it was odd shaking their hands. Culture shock!

And tomorrow we get to do it all over again. Well, not exactly. Tomorrow is the Duchateau family get together. Tonight it was the De Costers. And we’re not hosting tomorrow. And it’s for lunch not supper. Tonight we didn’t actually start eating to going on 9 o’clock I think. I have a busy-ish week ahead of me. There’s all the last-minute stuff to take care of, the 21st I’m going to Jean’s for the cooking lesson we talked about at New Years, the 23rd we’re all going to Sybille’s for a farewell to me gathering, 25th is Christmas, and I leave the 27th! Oh, and Monday we’re having a Christmas/goodbye party in my French class. Today was my 2nd last Saturday in Belgium. This is just as odd as it was when I was waiting to come here. It seems like it’s so far away and then suddenly BAM! it’s here.

Well, considering it’s almost 1:30 in the morning and we’re leaving at 11:30 and I should be up for breakfast and all that I should really go to bed. I hope everyone had a great Saturday!

Oh and I forgot. There was actually snow left on the ground, some cars, and rooftops this morning. At 9:30 still. When the sun came out and starting really shining it all melted away, but I was surprised to see it all the same.

                                                                                                                        

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4 Comments

  1. Ack! That sounded overwhelming to me–being a highly sensitive person. Get-togethers of more than 20 get too loud with all the cross-conversations. When people are having too much fun, I have to leave. Sad but true, 😦

    At least you were part of something big and memorable. Like this whole year… 🙂

    Reply
    • It was very loud, lol. I did use the kids as an escape sometimes. Other times I was actually needed up there. Adeline mentioned tonight that with a group that big if you don’t make the effort to socialize people won’t pay attention to you. It’s not because they’re not nice, it’s because there’s too many people to know if someone is missing b/c they’re sulking in a corner! I never went to parties in high school, all my gatherings were about 10 people, so I get what you’re saying. There’s good points about both small and big groups.

      And yes, this year has been big and memorable and it’s not even over yet!

      Reply
  2. Wow that’s a big family! 🙂 It’s fun though to be among so many people because then you know that you’re loved and supported a lot! ^^
    Oh and I’m not a fan of Bieber either… don’t like his voice 😛

    Reply
    • Yeah, it would’ve been awesome if it was actually my family! Lol. I think he has kind of a whiny voice myself, but I make it a point not to listen to him so I don’t really know.

      Reply

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