I honestly don't care about nice clothes (they're nice, but not a priority), nice cars (have you seen mine???), or a huge house (mine is about 1200 square feet if we're being generous). Material things have never really mattered to me. Now I like nice stuff and I like to dress my kid nice, but really, I get that at the end of the day; that's not what matters.
Family, friends, the good works you do in this life? those are what matter.
I spent a great deal of time growing up envisioning these big 'ol families in my head. I wrote out their stories and I made up their names and when it was quiet, I put myself in them; imagining sisters and cousins and the kind of big family I didn't have.
I've always wanted a big family (says the girl now with a single child). I like the idea of them; of loud noisy holidays and children running through the halls. I spent a lot of time "living" in the big families in my head growing up thinking I was missing out on something because my family was so small.
Don't get me wrong, I adore my family, but it's small. It always has been.
We celebrated my Papa last month at his 80th birthday celebration. Eighty years.
I watched my Dad and his sisters proudly circulate the room swapping stories of their Dad with friends that have been around for decades. I watched my Mom and my Uncle who married into this family, giggle and laugh with their grandchildren. I watched as my brother got to introduce his daughter to the people who watched him grow up. I watched my husband and sister in law crack jokes together (probably at our expense!).
I watched my daughter and my niece giggle together as they crawled around the floor. I watched as Baby Girl and her other cousin played peek a boo for hours under a table.
There were friends that my Papa has had since he was a teen in that room. There were people that have known me since I was a newborn there. There was so much love in that room that you could feel it.
As my Dad gave the toast to his Dad, I had to swallow tears at just how proud I was in that moment. Because that family I dreamed of when I was a kid? I have it. And it's kind of awesome.
Someday I hope my kids will celebrate me at eighty. That I can sit in a room surrounded by loads of family (BG better reproduce!!) and friends and know that my days have been spent surrounded in love. That no matter the size of my bank account, I can know I've done something right because they all took the time to come spend that special day with me. That's what matters.
The night was crazy and loud and involved BG having an accident in the middle of the room, but the night was perfect. It honestly couldn't have gone better.
I adore my Papa. I hope that he can look upon the rest of us and be proud. Be proud of the family he's raised. Be proud of the legacy he's given us. Because I'm pretty dang proud of him.
Here's to 80 Papa. Can't wait for the next one.