I shall now exercise my right to employ what is known as literary license.
Now, that doesn't imply I will start driving around town, shouting Shakespeare's Sonnets from my window at unwary joggers...no, I will instead be improvising, or playing with my stories to make them more entertaining.
But wait a minute; this is about family reunions! No need to tinker with truth; just recall the details, the players, the...horrors!
OK! That was a bit harsh. I adore my family and reuniting with them en masse (that's French for "Lord almighty..the whole freaking lot of them!") is an experience of a lifetime (several, actually).
There is no denying, being part of a large Italian family has afforded me some of the happiest memories and opportunities any woman could enjoy.
I can clearly remember the closeness (especially in the car, when my parents undertook an outing with the eight of us; a feat worthy of several medals for bravery).
The beach days were the best; although I remain mentally scared by the experience of being lost at age four. I wandered for hours before a body count was taken and they noticed they were short one.
I never knew how they found me, although it might have had something to do with being hoisted up on the flagpole of the Life Guard Station...)
But, back to reunions. Mustn't dawdle over details of a murky, sometimes shaky past...
There is nothing like a gathering of the clan, to stimulate old stories and anecdotes about growing up together. They seem to bubble up to the surface of conversation, like swimmers coming up for air, ( or scum on a pond depending on the story).
The laughter is raucous, the decibel of noise rises and all the tribe is content with the food and closeness; until one of the siblings regresses to early puberty, dumping water on another sibling's balding head. This is met with the retaliation of a warm Miller Lite and the fun begins in earnest!
But hey, that was years ago and maturity and time have dulled the word swords and no one can move with the cunning, or speed, of youth ( hell, getting out of the lawn chairs proves a challenge!)
You might have guessed by now, there is a reunion on my horizon. I will be playing the host part. And like Julia Child, I'll bake and cook and serve and most importantly... keep the wine near by!