BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA — Growing up in an Italian family, holidays, birthdays, weddings, week-ends, sometimes Tuesdays meant family and food and noise and music. That is what I remember. I also remember drying dishes, a lot of dishes. There were many dish towels that became too wet to dry with, but perfect for snapping my cousin’s behind! I remember family outings and vacations and hospital visits and gossip and lots and lots of kissing. Kissing hello and kissing good-bye.
Yesterday, for Thanksgiving, we went to a relatives home. There were a lot of people and food. But my children were not familiar with their cousins or aunts and uncles. They were anxious to get home and have their friends come over. I realized then that our family is experiencing the consequences of family spread. Thanksgiving has become the holiday where extended families reunite for two hours. Our mouths are too full to share the events of our everyday lives. After dinner, everyone is too full to care. Conversation over the dishes is diminished because of the dishwasher hum. Then, it’s time to catch the newest holiday movie where we can sit and not have to talk to anyone for two hours!
Interesting that our family ties have been boiled, cooked, baked, served and cut during a ceremonious event that was created to give thanks for the bounties of our lives and we now break bread with people we don’t share much of our lives with and don’t even really know.
Growing up this year is not what I remember it being like when I was a child. It’s not even what I remember since last year. I want that wet dish towel back! I want to chase you around the kitchen and get caught in a great bosom aunt hug attached to a wet kiss!