As I compose my post today, my family is outside preparing to have a barbecue. Well, that is for those who have arrived. You see, as is customary with our gang when we get together, everyone comes when they can…when they come..when they …well you get the idea. We are preparing lots of food, and I am feeling the angst of the Sandwich Generation.
Presently, one of my sons is putting the food up on the barbecue. Grandma – the matriarch of our clan — has gone shopping for all the food, and brought it over together with one of the cousins, who drove her around. Grandma is gearing up to direct the action.
The rest of my sons are out on errands and will be here shortly. Some of the other cousins will come as well, with the salad and some other food that they offered to make. My daughter-in-law is preparing some of the side dishes
My little grandsons are scooting around on their scooters, taking turns with the bikes (most of the time) and having a great time.
Why am I writing all these seemingly irrelevant details? Well, one reason is that I am warming up as I have not written in awhile, and I am scrambling for material. No…kidding. Actually, I find that barbecue entertaining is in its own category. They can be challenging, and expensive, and chaotic, as well as fun, and exciting and fattening, and sometimes even stressful. And in writing these details, I take a look from afar at the action and events, and achieve some clarity and inner control over the seemingly challenging – albeit fun – gathering.
Never mind that my son does all the work. Never mind that it’s all outdoors on paper dishes and so there is no hassle with washing dishes and clean-up. Still – I find that barbecues can be stressful. When families gather together for summer get-togethers, after a long day of outings, it can breed very interesting family dynamics. Several generations under one patio roof – or in our case – under one palm branch roof of our Sukkah, can yield some interesting interactions.
It can be a challenge to have fun when matriarchs manage, grandkids beckon, adult kids comment and stress surmounts. But it is definitely doable, and with some deep breaths, and some bracing, gearing and preparing, it will happen.
Ohhhh – I think I hear the rest of the company (or some) coming! Gotta run…