The past few,amazing days have been spent at a lake-house with my family.
It was perfect. There were, of course, the obligatory homemade margaritas. There was swimming in our lake-house pool. Wake-boarding and boat-cruising. My dad’s famous breakfast tacos, fajitas, steak and hamburgers. (For as long as I can remember, my dad has been practically famous for his cooking. We try to convince him to quit his job of twenty-five years and open a restaurant. He hasn’t obliged yet.) There were amusingly long debates about politics. (I mostly kept quiet to avoid being my dad’s next item to BBQ. Though I’m actually a moderate, I’m lovingly known as the raging liberal to both my and my husband’s family.) There were days spent sunbathing and nights spent chatting under the stars.
There were also the moments which I have grown so accustomed to, but at the same time, so easily forget. I forget the overwhelming comfort of being around those I consider my foundation, my roots, my safety blanket. I forget how incredibly easy it is for my family to make me laugh so hard and so often that it hurts; How my childlike sense of humor has been formed by those I grew up with. I forget that when my cousin Meagan and I are together, we all too often regress back to the days of Barbies and playscapes. I forget the completely effortless sense of being that comes with hanging around those who have known me my entire life.
I forget that my family believes to tease is to love, so much so that I glow with happiness when a dude cousin tells me, “Christina. Not one person here enjoys your company.” I forget that my little brother is the funniest, most kindhearted twenty-year old I have ever known. I forget that to have a big,close family is to have a lifetime of cherished memories. That to have my big,close family is to have a lifetime of obnoxious, hilariously embarrassing memories that must be shared and shared again. (Ie; The time my brother threw a water balloon at me and I chased him around the whole neighborhood screaming like a lunatic until I eventually caught and almost murdered him. Or the time my uncle pulled my dad’s pants down in a long amusement park line. Or the time a couple of anonymous dude family members had a serious fight over who had the most pubic hair.)
Having us all together reminds me. The Cirottos are my nook to rest. My home away from home. To be a part of my big,crazy family is to argue often,to love unconditionally, to laugh hysterically and to always be reminded of what made growing up so special. Of what makes being together still so special. To be a Cirotto is to have a family full of imperfections, disagreements and acceptance. To be a Cirotto is be able to use, “Nobody likes you, dumb-ass“, as a term of affection. Simply put, to be a Cirotto is to have a family so close that fights over pubic hair are perfectly normal.
(Some of us are missing here. My husband had to work, my little siblings and mom stayed home and my aunt and a cousin were sleeping. Still, I think it perfectly captured the essence of our tribe.)