Last night we went to my in-laws to celebrate the birthday of Sister-in-Law one. She is gorgeous and, like the rest of the Benders, very smart. I married into a great gene pool.
My father-in-law, family chef and cook in residence, put together a family favorite, paella: arborio rice, saffron, chicken, shrimp, sausage, tomatoes, peas, a treasure hunt in a giant pan. Everyone enjoys it. We bring over lemons and FIL Byron places slices on top. That and a salad, followed by chocolate cake with chocolate icing, will complete our meal. Oh, and bubbly. Bottles of bubbly!
It will be the first gathering after New Years Eve. There’s all those holidays and birthdays from September through New Year’s that brings us together quite often: five birthdays and four holidays. Then there’s this 10-week dry spell until we get to mid-March for Susan, whose birthday is March 14. SIL #2, Sally, celebrates her birthday the day after. She’s in Iowa City, so we will be celebrating her day via long distance.
Since we started dating, I’ve been included in the family gatherings that occur throughout the year. Then each of my girls were born, and we have photos of gatherings that show how little they used to be. It’s nice to have little kids around.
While the adults’ aging isn’t that marked in the photos, the children progress from babes in arms to toddlers tearing open Xmas presents, to butterfly-net wielding junior scientists. The adults all seem to settle in their regular seats around the dining room table, and all that seems to change is their attire, the food and the uncorked, dead soldiers.
And the kids. I never thought of that before.