Yesterday was Fiona's school event so after my hair appointment, and a late lunch, we headed to the Great School. Fiona was thrilled to see us and gave us the grand tour of the classrooms and the projects the students had done in each. After about 30 minutes or so, Fiona and Rob's cousin N and her daughter C arrived. They also brought with them another family member K and his daughter. K is also a cousin; he is N's brother. Being nosy, I wound up asking as no one was saying and Rob often looks to me to clarify how he is related to people.
We ate supper together at a big table. The Great School always has excellent food and this time there were lots of vegetarian options so I was very full by the time the meal was over. I love the fact that we all just mingled at the big round table. It was not all the J-E folks on one 1/2 and all the bio family on the other. We just sort of jumbled ourselves up sitting down and it was great. I chatted with N about her college experiences. KC and her daughter busied themselves playing thumb wars and rock paper scissors. Cousin K and Rob talked about skateboarding, etc. It was good, very very good.
It also helps that KC is a natural mingler. I don't know if it is inherent to his personality or if he picked it up from watching me, but he instinctively includes everyone at a table in conversation at some point. There were little gold stars on the table and he made them into constellations and invited people to guess which ones they were. There were goofy jokes. But it engendered a lot of laughter from everyone and others loosened up quicker I think because of that.
At the end of the evening, we had all said our goodbyes and were getting ready to leave. Suddenly, cousin N grabbed her phone, tugged at my sleeve and asked me to wait up. "We need to have a picture of the whole family," she said. And all of us squished together and staff took her phone and snapped a picture.