I come from a small, tight-knit family. We're nine people in total, six of which live under the same roof. I love my family, and now I've come to love a new composition, the one that makes up my host family.
My favorite TV show is Parenthood which follows the life of a huge family, and my host family reminds me of that! Both parents have seven brothers and sisters, who now all have their own families.
I met my host dad's side of the family at a baptism in Paris a few months back. This past weekend was my host mom's family's turn. We hosted a reunion at our house for her siblings. But in addition to those brother and sisters, were their kids and wives and husbands. Needless to say, the house was bustling this weekend, full of energy, chatter and love.
For this one moment spent together, they traveled thousands of miles in trains and planes. They came all the way from Italy, Switzerland, New Caledonia, and from all over France.
In preparation for the event, we set out a large umbrella by the pool, cleaned all the rooms, and made several trips to the grocery store and wine store.
A couple who is close with my host parents and owns the village pizzeria generously volunteered to do all the cooking for the night. With the exception of desserts, of course! Those were taken care of by me, and a few sisters who brought specialties from their corner of the world. We drank the aperitif and snacked by the pool before launching into the meal that would go on well past midnight.
|I made cookies and a cheesecake for dessert!|
For weeks prior to this weekend, my host family was anxious to see everyone and eager for me to meet them all. I had heard a lot about each person, and I too was looking forward to putting a face to all the names. Even if I knew it would be hard to keep track of everyone! I was also a little awkward about it, though. I mean, these are all people that have known each other since their first moments on this earth. I suppose I felt as though I might be intruding on an important moment for them. But no one made me feel that way for one second. They welcomed me with open arms and showed an interest in me and even my own biological family.
|Four generations, different nationalities, one family|