Anders' mom was the youngest of 12 siblings (she was 25 years younger than her oldest sibling...I'll just pause for a moment while you contemplate the horror there) and all the rest have passed on, but Anders has a ton of cousins around Sweden, most of whom are years older and most of whom he's never met at all.
They were really nice people, a brother and sister, both about 10 years or so older than Anders and I. He with his wife and 3 kids: a boy and girl in their twenties and a 15 year old boy, and her with her two sons (one nearly 15 and one 10-year-old). The kids were all really nice as well, and Martin and Karin hit it off with the 10-year-old (trampolines are great friend-makers).
Anders' parents and sister's family were here, too, so we had a whole gang hanging out from 11 this morning until about 6:30 p.m. with lunch, a long walk around Flyinge (storks! horses! runestone!) and grilled pork kebabs for dinner, in the lovely summer sunshine.
What cracked me up was that all 3 of the older boys arrived wearing hiphop pants or whatever you call the jeans that boys wear which hang off their butts. At one point, while we were sitting on the porch talking, all 3 of them were on the trampoline bouncing...and losing their pants. Hee! I asked Sofia, Anders' niece, if all the boys in her class wore such pants and she laughed and said yes. I just DO NOT understand the attraction, quite frankly. Do the girls think they're sexy in those pants?? Cool?? REALLY?? They were all 3 good-looking kids but those pants just looked ridiculous most of the time, and it gave me the giggles all afternoon.
It sure made me think about some of the things WE wore when I was a teenager, and made me not only feel really old, but made me miss my mom. And miss the family get-togethers and reunions that my mom's family regularly has and that I haven't been able to be a part of much for 11.5 years. My mom is at one right now, in fact; one of her cousin's kids got married this weekend out in California and a lot of family were there for the occasion.
We grew up mostly far away from family, visiting our grandparents and cousins when we could, and my mom did an excellent job of keeping those family ties strong, despite the distance. I only hope I can do half as good a job with my kids. Martin and Karin have one set of cousins in the States (my sister's kids) and one set of cousins here in Sweden (Anders' sister's kids). They see their Swedish cousins all the time, and their American cousins maybe once every few years. And even though they see my mom and my brother, at least, about once a year each, and we all talk on the phone quite regularly, there's no easy way to make any difference in the physical distances that lie between them and the American side of their family. I wish it was more balanced.
We went to see Kung-Fu Panda last night. It was AWESOME.
Enjoying: Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog
Also, Damn you, Gale! The kids (and maybe their mom) are completely addicted to Spore's Creature Creator after only 1 day!
Fantastical Flaming Belated Birthday Candle Wishes to Bethany and sandykins57