I wanna be Italian. I wanna big extended family that comes to my house and eats and talks and has lots of fun. On Martha Stewart’s new TV show, Martha surprised two Italian ladies in their home while they were cooking for their family who came over every Wednesday night to eat. The ladies squealed and hollered over meeting Martha. They teased and fought over the cooking. The family seemed to truly enjoy each other.
The show made me realize two things. First, I am a Martha fan. Two, I think big families are great. It reminded me of the days when we lived in McAllen and spent a couple of Thanksgivings with my sister-in-law’s family. My sister-in-law is the baby of thirteen kids - the last five in the family being girls – all Hispanic. We would drive up to San Antonio and stay with Tish’s mom, Maria. She did not speak much English, but that did not stop her from talking constantly. When the sisters, their husbands, and their kids all showed up, it was a house-full. I loved the way they laughed and cooked and teased each other. Jesse, with her dark hair and dark eyes, got lost in the crowd, but Bo, with his white-blonde hair and blue eyes, stuck out like a shiny penny. He had no idea he was different and neither did the other kids. It was just great fun and the food was to die for.
When the Barkers get together, there is lots of fun and laughter. With four kids and their kids, we have a good size group, but with some cousins thrown in, we can fill a house pretty well. Although we are a close group that seems to enjoy each other, we just don’t quite have that loud, laid-back attitude that the Italians or the Mexicans seem to have. I want people to come to my house and feel like they are part of my family. I want them to relax, enjoy and eat like they were at home. I want them to laugh and tease each other knowing that it is all just good fun. I want to be loud and not be worried about offending anyone.
If I had been smart, I would have had ten kids, but somewhere along the way I bought into the idea that more than two kids was a social no-no. Why? What could be wrong with having a big family? Hopefully, my two kids will not feel that same social pressure. I hope I have lots of grandkids. I will let them run through my house with marshmallow guns. I will let them ride the four-wheeler and fish in the pond. I will let them squeal and holler. I will have hugs and kisses and Band-Aids on hand. I guess this means I need a bigger house.