We're The Kids In America

Oh, I've been meaning to ask you: how was your Presidents' Day? It has not, hitherto, been a day I've ever had off work, and so when Sean and I both realized we had a holiday, we swiftly decided to throw an impromptu brunch, to which Emily Post would be aghast to hear we invited people via text, DM, and Facebook Chat. I know! If a party happens but no-one is around to make custom letterpress invitations, does it really happen? The scandal! 

Being that I am a) not American, and b) not really a huge fan of brunch in general—look, I'm sorry, but I like my meals to be defined (although I admit, confusingly, that this is at odds with my love for brinner)—I really had no business throwing a Presidents' Day Brunch. But I wanted to celebrate, and I wanted to see my friends, and I wanted to thank Abraham Lincoln for his contributions to society somehow, and since sending him an Edible Arrangement was rather out of the question—I never trust a business that uses Papyrus as their font, to say nothing of the fact that Abraham Lincoln would not be, uh, present to sign the delivery slip—I decided to throw a Presidents' Day Brunch.

Look, here is a twee Instagrammed shot of my special George Washington food labels. Looks like someone had a little too much Pinterest alongside her pastries that day. 

There were seven kids at this brunch, a fact I recognized sort of peripherally but hadn't really stopped to consider. I mean, intellectually I knew that seven kids would be in my house for three hours with ample access to sugared donuts, but I hadn't really given much consideration to what those kids would do. I think I sort of just assumed they'd gather in the back bedroom and quiz each other on the past participles of the Latin subjunctive or something, and so I wasn't prepared for the maelstrom of activity that swept through my house when they arrived. Seven kids, you guys. Supremely well-mannered and adorable kids, all of them, but that's six more than I've ever had in my house at any one time, and certainly seven more than I've ever had hiding under my bed. (I didn't vaccuum under there! Forgive me! None of my other parties have ever culminated in a rousing game of hide and seek!) 

"I hope we didn't put you off having kids," said one of the moms to me, the next day. "Oh, of course not," I replied. "Although I think you might have put me off having seven." Apologies to TS Eliot, but to paraphrase old J. Alfred Prufrock, ""No, I am not Michelle Duggar, nor was meant to be!" 

So that was Presidents' Day, which seems an age ago now, and then my parents came to stay last week, which was a huge amount of fun. I know some people are all "eh, my parents are coming to stay, there goes the weekend" and when they say this the top half of their face is just one big eyeroll and the bottom half of their face is just one big grimace, but I love having my parents come to stay, not least because I know I will be laughing for the majority of the time that they're here. Every single person in my family has the exact same sense of humor, and—together with Sean, who is pretty funny himself—no-one can make me laugh harder, not even Bill Maher who we went to see last Thursday night and who was hilarious. Plus, everyone in my family likes the same kind of wine (dry, white, a Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, if possible).  And that's just nice from a practical standpoint.

Look, I am 32 and I still find it funny to steal my mother's cell phone when she's not looking and text my siblings. You know, incredibly serious and mature things like  "I hate you! Love, Mum" and "By the way, everyone thinks you smell like poop." Tell me you wouldn't do it too if given unfettered access to your mother's phone and a rolodex of immediate family members. Yeah, you would. You know you would. 

Anyway, now they've gone back down to San Diego and I miss them enough to have bought an impromptu tub of Ben & Jerry's at the corner store and eaten my way through most of it while watching the DVR-ed episodes of The Office and Parks & Rec that we missed last week. Missing my parents always makes me feel eleven again, however quickly the feeling fades into the quotidian blur of work and friends and home and everything else. I don't think that ever changes, though. I bet you can be fifty-seven and three quarters, and still want your dad to help you with your algebra homework or your mother to stroke your hair when you don't feel well. I'm pretty sure you can.  

1
Carroll
Feb 29, 2012

I've been on holiday with our own entirely wonderful entire family for the past ten days, Holly, and I thought about you and yours, and how lucky those of us who are lucky enough to all love and enjoy each others company so much truly are. Your parents are probably still smiling too, and maybe tucking away just a tiny bit of their own Ben and Jerry's to tide them over until next time :-)

2
Sandra
Feb 29, 2012

It´s the same thing in our family. When we´re together
we have so much fun. Mostly I have muscular strains the next day from laughing my ass of. But I know from my fiancé, that this is not always the case. Some families
don´t get along so well.

3
jasmine
Feb 29, 2012

your family sounds like so much fun! And i'm jealous you got to have brunch on President's day. I still don't think its a real holiday because I never get that day off. In fact, most times, I hate that day because that always happens to be the day that I need to go to the bank to get change and guess what? They are not open! hmph.

4
Lel
Feb 29, 2012

OYSTER BAY!!! Love it!! My Granny has just turned 79 and she reckons she is still 18 inside! You never really grow old and you never stop wanting your parents to be your parents.

5
afc
Feb 29, 2012

you are blessed! enjoy your lovely family. you are very, very lucky to have such support. it's these posts that always make me the most envious (the travel ones are close second!).

6
Amy
Feb 29, 2012

I think you're the only person on the Internet who shares a love for their family the way I do. And that cell phone thing is brilliant. I plan to put that to use on my brother ASAP.

7
SueP
Feb 29, 2012

I'm 55 3/4 and I would dearly love my mother to stroke my hair when I don't feel well. I would advise that you cherish that time, but it's clear you don't need ME to tell you that!

8
Courtney
Feb 29, 2012

The other day, I got in a minor car accident, and my first thought was to call my dad. I realized I should call my husband first, but when he wasn't there . . . I called my dad. He knew right away that something was wrong, and it made me feel so much better. And he knew exactly what to do, of course. I'm 32, and I think that's totally OK.

9
Amy @Picture It
Feb 29, 2012

"Of course not...you might have put me off having seven." LOL!

Next time my mom is in town, I am SO stealing her cell phone when she's not looking to text my sis. Thanks for the idea. ;)

10
Novice Wife
Feb 29, 2012

The hubster and I are trying to buy a house and we were going round and round about how much to offer. We finally decided. But something still just didn't feel right. And then I realized - I had to call my mom to make sure she agreed.

And even though I thought - when on earth am I ever going to grow up??? I also thought - no really, I really need to call her.

Also, I'm sorry because I love reading your posts and secretly in my heart of hearts believe we could be bestest friends 4evar, but brunch is the most awesomest meal. How can you not realize that??

11
Starla
Feb 29, 2012

You are so, so lucky to have such a lovely family, who you actually like, and get on with.

I wish your parents could adopt me! I LOVE a good New Zealand white wine!

12
Christine
Feb 29, 2012

I remember calling my Dad in Canada on 9/11. I couldn't reach my husband or other friends, and so I called him and we stayed on the phone watching the news together. I miss being able to call my parents under those circumstances. They're still alive, but my Dad has Alzheimer's and my Mum is a little too scattered and impaired to help. I miss them.

13
ScottsdaleGirl
Feb 29, 2012

"I bet you can be fifty-seven and three quarters, and still want your dad to help you with your algebra homework or your mother to stroke your hair when you don't feel well. I'm pretty sure you can"

YUP.

14
erica
Feb 29, 2012

Aww this is so sweet. I love my family too and hope that when my (unborn) son is 32 he will want to hang out with me and my husband still. Things with my flaws are never comfortable but I hope we can be the kind of family where my kid's friends and girlfriends feel like one of us.

15
Rachel
Feb 29, 2012

I love texting my siblings mean things with my parents' cell phones, too! Such fun :)

16
Lynn
Feb 29, 2012

I love that my family - my son is 30 and my daughter 29 - have always had that easy closeness: not stifling, but warm and familiar. My own young adulthood, in Canada, was so different.

And oh my - is there anything more delicious than a chilled Marlborough Sauv Blanc? Sigh.

17
Lara
Feb 29, 2012

I want to believe the title of this post is a Kim Wilde reference but am wondering if it's not a little before your time. In any event, it's stuck in my head now :)

18
NothingButBonfires
Feb 29, 2012

Lara, I used to be a HUGE Kim Wilde fan.

19
A
Feb 29, 2012

Me too! I think she is a gardener now or something!

20
Julie
Feb 29, 2012

You are so very, very fortunate to have such a great family. Not that you don't know that. It shows every time you write about them. I hope my kids feel about me the way you do about your parents someday. Maybe the Burns parents should write a guest post about creating a close family?

21
Julie
Feb 29, 2012

You are so very, very fortunate to have such a great family. Not that you don't know that. It shows every time you write about them. I hope my kids feel about me the way you do about your parents someday. Maybe the Burns parents should write a guest post about creating a close family?

22
Julie
Feb 29, 2012

You are so very fortunate to have such a great family. Not that you don't know this. It shows every time you write about them. Maybe the Burns parents should write a guest post about creating a close family?

23
Jess
Feb 29, 2012

Ok so I've been reading your blog for awhile now (prying into your life is more how it feels) and have never felt the urge to comment until now.

You mentioned NZ! Wohoo! We kiwis love that.

Also...I love the fact that a Marlb wine is 'special' for you. Suppose it's kinda like our fascination with Funfetti cake, red keg cups, or Reeces Pieces (all of which you practically need superpowers to find here).

Jessica from Christchurch, NZ

24
Camels & Chocolate
Feb 29, 2012

Given that we've been living with my parents (and 90-year-old granddad)(and seven dogs) for nearly THREE MONTHS now and I have been too lazy to actually start the whole house-hunting process, I'd say I'm with you in the "parents are awesome" camp. Plus, I've met yours, and they're even more awesome than most.

Also, why did you start having so many fun parties *after* I left San Francisco? I mean, while I was still there, you were too busy getting married and planning the DIY wedding of the century, then buying a house and completely remodeling the dang thing. Granted, there *were* Fourth of July bonfires, but now you're having PRESIDENTS' DAY BRUNCHES. Which really is totally my kind of brunch (also, you don't like brunch?! you definitely are not American).

25
Isobel_A
Mar 01, 2012

Heh - snap on the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - heaven in a glass. Mmmm.

26
Angela
Mar 01, 2012

YES to Julie's suggestion! I'd love to hear how they did that, especially considering you all seem to have spent a lot of time apart. I love my family, but sadly they are not the joking, teasing kind of people. My parent's tend to be very serious, plus they're TEETOTALERS. If you can imagine the humor involved with being completely sober ALL the TIME, you've got it. Everything is a Very Serious Matter, and teasing is Mean. I didn't know how to take a joke until I was a late teenager! No wonder people thought I was weird. I'm totally going to do that to my brother next chance I get...he'll be so confused! LOL

27
liz
Mar 03, 2012

unsolicited wine tip: i am also a fan of the Marlborough Sauv Blanc wines. Kim Crawford has been one of my favorites for years, however i learned recently that Kim Crawford himself has nothing to do with that label anymore and has started a new winery with his original winemaking team called Mud House. their Sauv Blanc is delicious. i highly recommend it, if you're looking for a new wine to try.

28
Angela
Mar 11, 2012

So much fun! Enjoy your lovely family. Thank for shares a love with us : )

29
Marinnelle
Apr 24, 2012

Hmm..it really looks delicious and I would like so much to have the opportunity to see how this tastes.
Aer Conditionat Bucuresti

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
Just to make sure you have a pulse
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters (without spaces) shown in the image.