Family Reunion

By Veronica

“Why is JellyBean so pale?” asked my niece. “She is really pale. Is she sick? She looks sick.”

We are visiting family in Buffalo, and the cousins are getting to know each other again. My brother’s family has grown through both adoption and natural birth, and his Korean daughter was expressing shock at the near translucence of my children.

My children are very fair-skinned. They could be poster children for the necessity of sunscreen. My husband and I are both pale, and our combined genes have produced children who would fit right into the Cullen household, except for the sparkles and blood-drinking. My brother’s kids – especially after a summer spent in Puerto Rico – are tanned and cafe-au-lait, the picture of sun-loving health. When we all get together, our combined chaos of children (I believe a “chaos of children” is the proper collective noun) looks like a poorly organized attempt at reviving the Benetton ad campaign.

I know these differences will have significance for the kids outside the home – my pale daughters will attend a school that is 80% African-American and they are unlikely to blend in – and I am not naive about the future challenges, but here in the loving bedlam of family, there is rest from the weight of it. The laughter and the hugging and the play swirl around us, and the cousins are cousins, whatever else the world says.

Even if some of the cousins (ahem) look like they need to eat more red meat.

6 Responses to Family Reunion
  1. patois
    August 11, 2009 | 10:19 am

    “The cousins are cousins, whatever else the world says.” Excellent.

  2. Tonggu Momma
    August 11, 2009 | 7:02 pm

    “Cousins are cousins, whatever else the world says” – exactly. And I am thrilled that the Tongginator, this Labor Day weekend, will meet one of my favorite cousins for the first time that she can remember (she was 16 months old the last time). My cousin K was adopted from Korea in the 1980s… and she and her brother (also adopted from Korea) are who instigated the “adopt from Asia” campaign back in 2004. Heh.

  3. The Gang's Momma
    August 11, 2009 | 10:07 pm

    What a great post. Made The Boss and I both laugh out loud. What a fun and healthy perspective on all the colors (or lack thereof!) it takes to make a family.

    And the Benetton crack? PRICELESS!

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  5. Linda Guimond
    April 6, 2012 | 2:29 am

    Linda Guimond…

    Major thanks for the article.Much thanks again. Will read on……

  6. Breanna Segal
    April 7, 2012 | 3:00 am

    Breanna Segal…

    Major thankies for the blog.Much thanks again. Fantastic….

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