Which is a milestone.
Which is awesome, right? Because we all know how I love milestones. And its a pretty big one as far as these things go.
What’s less awesome are the activities associated with this family reunion.
When Chris first told me about this event he prefaced it by saying “My family isn’t a sitting family, like yours.”
I was like “Huh? What else is there to do when you get together with your family aside from sit around and talk and tell stories?”
Well, a lot, apparently.
Saturday morning we meet at 8am to get into a van that will drive us to the top of a mountain, where we will get on mountain bikes and ride down the mountain along a 17 mile trail (which is not actually entirely down hill. Bike peddling will need to occur.)
I have a few issues with this. They are, in no particular order: 1. the down a mountain part, 2. the being on a bike part. 3. the 17 mile part. 4. the 8am part.
Plus, we have only two hours to do it, non-negotiable, because then we have to get cleaned up to get the picnic. Which means “Suck it up” and “Push through the pain” and “that’s barely bleeding at all” will be phrases I expect to hear frequently.
Then there’s the picnic. Which is the real heart of this reunion, with dozens upon dozens of Chris’s family members. And in case that wouldn’t be anxiety producing enough on its own, there is also rock climbing involved.
Now, when Chris first explained this day to me, I thought he said that we have to climb these rocks/cliffs/instruments of death in order to get to the picnic.
That’s the part where I started to cry. Seriously.
Now he has clarified that we drive to the picnic but that the rock climbing is just an activity that people do. Which makes me feel much better, because I’m sure not everyone will participate, so I’m going to become BFF’s with whoever seems least inclined to impersonate a billy goat. That way, I can be all “I’d love to climb that big rock, but I feel bad leaving my new Soul Sister. Sorry!”
After the picnic, there are fireworks. This part I’m actually looking forward to. I love fireworks. From a distance. So I’m going to let Chris go with his cousins up to the hill and set things on fire, while I sit back at the house with my BFF from the picnic and try not to imagine all the different types of death by pyrotechnics that can occur.
Sunday morning we get back in the car to drive home. Assuming I haven’t been hospitalized.
Talking, sitting, and storytelling are really my only solid skills. And if Chris came from a normal family, AKA a “sitting family”, I would have only the normal level of anxiety about meeting all his people.
But instead I keep picturing myself being introduced to a family member with my face red and splotchy from the heat, my hair in a wild disarray (possibly with some leaves in it) dirt smeared across one cheek, and so out of breath, either from the activity or the anxiety attack brought on by the activity, that I won’t even be able to engage in conversation. Which, if you remember, is the only thing I bring to the party on a good day.
My biggest fear is that at some point, maybe while I’m trying to arrange a helicopter to pick me up from the side of the mountain, or while I’m digging a trench in the grass with my heals as Chris drags me toward the climbing cliffs, that someone, or perhaps even several someones, will say “Why’d he have to bring HER?”
Ok, that person likely be me.
But at least I should get some good stories out of it. Near death experiences usually make for good material.
Assuming I live.