Family reunions are always exciting, yet sometimes stressful….especially if the reunion is in another country! It’;s been over 9 years since I’;ve seen some of my family, that I was even a little nervous I wouldn’;t recognize some, or they may not recognize me.
So here I am traveling with two kids, and did I mention with no extra help. The night before our long flight, I wanted to make sure I didn’;t forget anyone’;s gifts, pack enough diapers and baby food for my 11-month-old baby, and of course plenty of toys and clothes for my 6-year-old girl. Luckily, I managed to pack everything in one big suitcase. Amazing isn’;t it?
After, traveling for over 16 hours and stopping in 4 airports, we finally reached our destination. I was so happy to be in Spain, it made me forget about that long, long, flight! As soon as we arrived to my family’;s house, it was time to for dinner. It was the most wonderful feeling to be sitting next to my family that I haven’;t seen in so long! Shortly after, I showered my family with gifts from the USA. While everyone was un-wrapping their gifts, I noticed a lot had changed… it seems that in just 10 years our likes and dislikes had changed immensely. In fact, I bought everyone a gift, but everyone seemed to like the gifts that weren’;t theirs. So they started exchanging gifts, and some people ended up having 2 gifts, and others left with none. After seeing the dismay on some faces, I thought it would be nice to invite them all to a restaurant. You can imagine how that turned out – 15 people trying to agree on one restaurant. Yes, I know what you’;re thinking, and it is impossible! After a lengthy discussion, we ended up staying home and eating chicken. Funny how some things work out…
My youngest daughter would vanish from time to time, among the multitude of people. At times, I caught the older kids feeding her octopus and snails. I even found an olive seed in her diaper. Luckily she wasn’;t hurt, but I fear she will never eat another olive again! My oldest daughter had no problems communicating in Spanish with her cousins. She had a lot of fun watching Kim Impossible and the Cheetah Girls in Spanish. She thought the translation into Spanish was hilarious, and to be honest, I thought so too.
On my flight home, I remembered all of the fun, memorable, and not so memorable times spent with my family. I’;m so grateful to have a wonderful family! My trip to Spain taught made me realize I can never let so many years pass without seeing them. But most of all, I learned that family is family, no matter how far away they live, or how embarrassing they can be, I’;ll always carry a piece of them in my heart.