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Family Matters: The Beach


One month from today, I will be at the beach with my family – my ENTIRE family.

My parents. Two brothers. Two sisters. Two sisters-in-law. One brother-in-law. One boyfriend-in-law. Five nephews. One niece. Two sons.

It’s chaos – beautiful, wonderful chaos.

As my family is now spread out all over the country (from Virginia to California), this annual trip to the beach is the only time each year we’re all usually together.

The siblings immediately revert to old roles and habits. There’s copious sarcasm, more than a little competition (hello, volleyball!), swimming, surfing, digging in the sand, jumping waves, eating frozen yogurt and all the other great things associated with a beach vacation. The cousins (oldest is 11, youngest is 9 months) pretty much follow suit. They ride the waves on boogie boards, scuffle over the best shovels, compete to see who can dig the biggest holes and get a little territorial over whatever toys and games they’ve brought on the trip with them.

It’s not easy to stay in a house with 18 other people. But it is easy to see that for one week every summer that yellow house by the ocean is full of love and laughter. And that’s worth everything else.

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