my cousin’s birthday dinner

it was barb’s son’s birthday last week.  i told him we wanted to take him for lunch and he chose a barbeque place.  at one point in the planning process i thought it would be just me, my mom, and him.  but it ended up that his girlfriend came, and my sister and her boyfriend.  we had a great little lunch! 

the big news was – my cousin got engaged!  they have been living together for a few years and moved into barb’s house after she died.  his now fiancé has a 6 year old, and they just got a new puppy.  they’re aiming for next October – about a year and a half. 

my sister spent dinner play fighting with her boyfriend.  my jury is still out on him, but my gut instinct has always been on the dislike side.  however, he has been at my mom’s house every time i come to visit recently (my sister is 17), and is now showing up at family events. 

big life events in your family are always … big.  it’s a big deal, he’s getting married!  but again, bittersweet.  barb won’t be at the wedding.  grama won’t be there.  i could see that my mom was thinking that too, as it all soaked in. 

looking around the table at lunch, all i could think – neither bad nor good – was… this is my family now. 

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