Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Tribe

At some moment last night, I looked at the mass of small children on the floor before me, laying, crawling, toddling, walking in a great conglomeration of arms and legs, heads and bodies, and had a vision of the future.

In twelve years, the youngest there will have just passed that year marker. There will be two thirteen-year-olds, two fourteen-year-olds, and a sixteen-year-old. Add in the other cousins from the rest of the tribe and there will be another at thirteen and an eighteen-year-old in the bunch.

The boys that now climb all over each other, squeaking out shouts of glee and pain in toddler-sized voices, will wrestle on the floor, their voices cracking between high and low notes. The girls, who now giggle and push dolly around in a stroller, will still giggle, but will be more likely to be kicking a soccer ball around in the back yard. Chubby little calves will have elongated into skinny legs. Dimpled knees will be nobby. Tiny paws will have grown into strong hands.

A part of me hopes they remain friends like they are right now. Remarkably, for a tribe made up of families who spent the past thirty-five years traversing continents on the other side of the world, these cousins have all landed in the same place for a time: seven kids spanning four years who see each other more than once a week. If the families stay where they are, they'll attend the same schools or church youth groups.

But I know this tribe; those traversed continents make for itchy feet. Already, some cousins have moved away, and these that remain may well travel the world as well. However, they'll congregate with some regularity, perhaps at holidays, or in the cool of a Michigan summer evening like last night.

Two families joined years ago and formed a tribe - it's grown since, with additions through marriage and birth, but remained joined. The crew of kiddos crawling over rocking horses and sharing dollies today will not lose their bonds. Blood, tears, joy, pain, and love join them.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post! I love this picture of looking at these young children 12 years in the future... I close my eyes and imagine myself in your living room observing the tribe as you are...


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