I was home in New Jersey for this past Christmas, and a big part of Christmas in our family is celebrating with my extended family on my mother’s side. It became known as “St. Andre Christmas”.
My grandmother had four children, and seven grandchildren. In the beginning it was relatively easy for all 16 or so of us to fit in the house and around two tables for dinner.
Yes, the adult table, and the kid’s table.
The kid’s table was off of the dinning room in my grandmother’s old house, in a sun porch that could be closed off from all of us noisy kids.
And we were pretty noisy. There were a lot of jokes, pranks, and, of course, tons of giggles. All of which would make our parents glare in at us to behave.
In between those glares we would drop after-dinner mints in each other’s glasses of milk, or laugh at anyone who confused butter pats with cheese (Sorry, Amy) and lots of other childish behavior.
The grownups were totally jealous of our fun, and really, who could blame them? We assumed the conversations at the adult’s table centered around their banks, underwear, and other boring adult topics (those were real things we said).
As we got older, we were graduated to the adult table. The kid’s table would be minus one grandkid, then two, three, then it was decided to combine the tables from then on. The kid’s table was no more.
We would still goof off, and still get the glares, but it was less and less. We were growing up, and becoming adults (as much as we, er, I, tried to fight it).
This past Christmas, I couldn’t help but look around and see the incredible people that my sisters and cousins have grown up to be.
At the table was my sister who is a mental health counselor my other sister who is killing it by going to work full time while carrying a full course load, as well as a new generation teacher, doctor, and nurse, and another cousin about to finish college and join the work force.
My sisters and cousins have grown into amazing women who give and give, both in their personal and professional lives.
Most of the “kids” now have spouses, or are in longterm relationships, making the total number of family up to 21.
The men that my sisters and cousins have chosen are just as amazing as they are, and it’s a pleasure to get to see them whenever I can, even if it is just for the day.
It really is incredible to look at that first picture from 18 years ago and compare it to the second photo from my wedding in 2011 and to think about everything that has happened in between.
I have these moments in certain situations were I stop myself and realize that I’m an adult. I’m 31 years old. Will that realization ever go away?
Two of the St. Andre grandchildren have kids of their own now.
There are “real” kids back at the St. Andre Christmas, and it will only get better and bigger as more kids come along. A new generation of the kid’s table will soon follow.
New jokes. New pranks. New giggles.
I wonder if I can be downgraded back down the kid’s table. Just for a little while.