My mom, sister, aunts, cousins and their kids from my “J” family came from far and wide on Saturday afternoon to throw me a party in celebration of the coming out of my book.
I was overwhelmed by their love and support.
These are amazing women.
These are salt of the earth, do anything for you, down in the trenches doing the dirty work of life without fanfare or complaint women.
I love them.
I admire them.
The restaurant put our honkin’ huge table back in the industrial depths of their building so our noise and laughter wouldn’t disturb other customers.
I think mostly they were worried everyone would hear how much fun we were having and leave their tables to come join us.
My great aunt told me how she showed up at the bookstore right when they opened the day my book came out. They hadn’t even gotten them off the truck yet, but she made them go get one for her. “I got the first copy, hot off the truck!” She bragged.
I tried to give one of my author’s copies to my older sister, but she wouldn’t take it.
“Oh no. I want to go into the store, stand next to the display and tell everyone that my sister wrote this book and how she learned everything she knows from me.”
Across the table sat my aunt who made my wedding dress. Next to her was my cousin who is my go-to computer tech support girl whom I call, email and text every time I get techno-stuck, which is waaaaaay too often. By her was another aunt who reads my blog faithfully every day at work and has gotten her whole office addicted to the wild and goofy adventures of Kari. Next to her was my cousin’s quiet and sweet wife who married into this loud and crazy family, and yet she still likes to hang with us. My other cousin’s wife prints out my blog every day for her mother-in-law, my great aunt, because she doesn’t “do” computers. Next to her was another aunt who was the third grade teacher for two of my kids, one of them being a big time stinker at that age. Then there’s my shy private mother who could probably only explain the conception of such a contradictory offspring as being the result of an alien abduction where she was implanted with an immigrant fetus.
I could go on and on about all of them, but there aren’t enough words or time.
I hope you have a good gang. If you don’t, I’ll share mine with you.
But you gotta prepare yourselves to attend “Ugly Sweater” and “Mad Hatter” parties. You gotta be willing to put pantyhose over your head and catch rubber chickens in your pants at family reunions. You gotta listen to hunting, fishing and deprived childhood stories that get more elaborate every year, and put up with lots of loud voices, big personalities, hardy laughs, spine-altering hugs, bone-crushing handshakes and pig-headed opinions.
And you have to accept that there’s a writer in the family who watches, listens, records and then puts it all out there for the world to read.