September 11, 2009 by 8junebugs
Check out my gorgeous cousin and his gorgeous bride on their wedding day. I can concur with my aunt, who still lets me call her Aunt Cookie, for some reason: This is the perfect woman for Steph.
That beautiful background is The Ponds at Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton, Vermont. No color correction necessary for this event.
While we’re at it, meet KidBrother, in his capacity as best man:
They look a little less like twins than they used to.
In my eyes these days, after sifting through piles of family photos and getting to know my first cousins again, we all look pretty much alike — depending on the angle and the light, we all look just like our grandparents.
You can tell Boo and I apart by my Whipple chin and crow’s feet — I do have a couple of years on the girl. (I’ve started letting the curls do what they want, by the way. Most of the time they make good decisions.)
I squint when I smile, and here I’m halfway there. I hope Boo’s dad’s camera caught us 10 seconds before this one.
What’s funny to me about this photo is that we never looked much alike as kids. Her sister and I, yeah — people invariably thought we were sisters or even twins. Boo just looked like herself, the little blonde angel amid a bunch of rowdy little boys.
(At the after-party following the reception, three of those little boys were quite determined to protect her honor amid a rowdy bunch of young men.)
There are 14 of us in my generation. Leslie was the first grandkid, then me…I think about seven years later? After that it was a kid a year: Casey, Katherine, Bailey. Then the boys: Brian, Stephan, and Chris, in rapid succession. Then the order gets a little fuzzy for me: Laura (Boo), Bradley, Aaron, Jeffrey, Lauren, and, quite a bit later, Adrianna.
God help me if I’ve missed anyone. Like I said, we all look alike.
There are already four in the next generation: Alexis (who is older than Adrianna) and three little ones whose names I don’t know. I once told Memere, under pressure to produce a baby after being legally wed, that she couldn’t have another great-grandchild until she could keep track of the ones she had.
And there’s a new generation, this summer. Alexis has a baby girl of her own now, making Leslie a grandma and Memere a great-great-grandmere.
My last night in Vermont, Dad and I took some pizza over to Memere’s for dinner, joined later by my aunt and uncle (who are also my godparents). Memere has the most wonderful black and white photographs up in her living room — her wedding picture, a four-generation picture showing her as an infant, family photos from her side and Pepere’s, and one of them with their seven children… (Photos of my generation are relegated to the front hall.)
At Stephan and Rachel’s wedding, I got the tiniest tingle of a sense of how my Memere must feel, watching all of us dance and laugh and sing together. If I can look at my cousins and see her and Pepere, what must she see? They started this whole family from scratch, this enormous and still growing family of smart, stubborn, creative, funny, loving, world-traveling people — so different and still so alike. Everything we’ve done, everyone we’ve touched somehow…all that started with them, a young couple on a farm in Weybridge, Vermont.
Bit staggering, that. To me, anyway.