Frozen and Why I Love the Crazy Montgomery Family (Especially my Cousins)

“Family isn’t something that’s supposed to be static, or set. People marry in, divorce out. They’re born, they die. It’s always evolving, turning into something else.”  – Sarah Dessen, Lock & Key

     Growing up we never think we’re that family. (You know, that perfect, big, loving family that does everything together?) You are blind-sighted by the fact that it takes 4 hours to get to family functions. You only see them once a year. You walk in and you’re bombarded with too many cousins, aunts, and uncles for your six-year-old brain to retain from year to year, let alone remember why you love them (but trust me, you do). Then, there’s the fact that you’re seven years younger than your youngest cousin so there’s really no one for you to be “friends” with either, not in the same way at least. You actually share your birthday with a few of your cousins, but… it’s just a coincidence, obviously. So, your family is alright, but it’s not that family.
     Then, you start to remember the names. Eventually, your cousins have their own kids and suddenly that seven year gap makes you the cool, young cousin that will still play games and run around the house. The distance has shifted a little. Your a few miles closer to some of your family, and way farther away than others, but regardless, you’re closer now (social media doesn’t hurt that either). You realize that you all share a few traits. Your second cousin drops her can of pop, something she does “all the time” and you laugh because you’ve spilt your food a few times (okay maybe more than just a few). Your cousin uses her “teacher voice” and you mentally recount the teachers in your family – you’re number eleven. Your cousin mentions that her daughter seems so much like you. You find yourself saying “Must be a Montgomery thing.”
     Eventually, you come to the conclusion that you actually just might be that family: a family worth driving an hour to see just for some pizza and time spent together. You’re the family that’s so big that you’re outgrowing everyone’s houses at christmas, the family that embraces everyone’s quirks and lifestyles with so much love. Instead of being a quiet, formal affair, your grandmother’s funeral visitation sounded like a party – filled with laughter of a family with a knack for jokes and storytelling. Despite the differences in ages, distances, occupations, and day-to-day lives, you can always come together. You may not be the perfect family, but you realize that your family is one so many people can only wish for. You look around and your surrounded by so many people that care about you. Your family may not be perfect, but they’re everything you need them to be, as long as you let them.
About this post: Last weekend, since my cousin Katie was visiting Ohio for her spring break (She teaches in Georgia), I was invited to my Aunt’s house for dinner with some of my cousins. Even though her house is a little bit over an hour away, I was still thankful to drive that distance, considering that if I was at home instead of school it would have been 4 hours to see my family. So, during this impromptu get-together, you may be wondering how Frozen brought us all together? . Now, there are several little kids that could have instigated our movie choice on Saturday. I mean, they clearly love the movie. After all, who doesn’t? Funny enough, it was actually my cousin Katie who brought the movie, and then myself and Kelly who really wanted to watch it, although the kids didn’t mind our choice either. Mind you, i’m the youngest of the three of us at twenty-one years old. So, all of us are acting like children and singing along to the movie (including a great duet by Ryan and his daughter), laughing, and just enjoying ourselves. I look around at all of us bonding over a children’s movie and I realize: that moment is what family means to me. Even though I don’t see my cousins often (and I didn’t even get to see all of them), I appreciate the rare little moments like this when I get to see them.   It’s the ability to all get together for no particular reason and just laugh. And, you know, being the favorite playmates of all my little second cousins doesn’t hurt either…
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I got to play with my second cousins, who are pretty cool. It mostly involved me picking them up and throwing them on the couch, which was a pretty good workout…

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My cousins Kelly, Katie, and I might actually be sillier than the kids. It’s a close call though…

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Published in: on March 31, 2014 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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