One of the blessed consequences of living in bumbling, rural Missouri was that we were forced to bond with the few cousins we had near, friendships enforced by virtue of geographical proximity. I remember the mass of cousins as a gangly conglomeration of wild and awkward, moody and amusing.
And we all eventually shifted, and moved, and changed, and scattered, as growing children are prone to do, until most owned proper houses and children and debts and worries of their own. Time became a wobbly gamble, and so now we see each other rarely, and briefly, and at odd intervals.
But not this Saturday.
This Saturday, we decided. We decided we would force a collision of four and a half splintering families, all under the guise of yoga. We would bend and fold our bodies to Marissa’s instructions, breathing like the ocean. We would eat deliciously scalding Navajo Tacos, created with all the brilliance of Piper. Richard, Jon, and Jeff would converge to plot out new games. We would talk of Julie’s discovery of her ferocious feelings in respect to her three girls and feminism.
We decided that, for a handful of hours on a rainy afternoon, we would figure out all the ways we fit now, and how mostly we don’t, except on these colliding days. We would relish, for a day, how flexible family is, how durable. (Literally and metaphorically. Yoga is hard.)
And when most left, dividing into themselves and returning to their own lives, I would languish in the chaos of my eldest brother’s home. I would dance with small children to horrible music, and eat heady, decadent ribs, and absorb all of the affection I could, storing it away for when I, too, would have to return to my own reality.
Which is finals. My reality is finals. Help. I’m procrastinating.