Monday, June 30, 2014

A Public Speaker Is Born

On Saturday afternoon, the four of us traveled to the booming metropolis of Odell for my mom's side annual family reunion.  My grandpa was one of ten children, and this reunion is an attempt for gathering all the remaining ancestors of my great-grandparents, John and Algoga, in one place for sharing memories and catching up.  I can remember the reunions from when I was my girls' ages - they were always held in Chautauqua Park on the hottest day of the summer.  My parents never let us go to the awesome pool and instead I had to settle for summer fun in the form of water balloon tosses.  Eventually the crowd began to diminish and the parks were moved to Odell's park (still, no swimming allowed for my brother and me, but at college age I could cope with this tragedy slightly better).  Someone finally got some sense and as the crowds thinned even more we moved to an indoor (air conditioned) location in town.

Conflicts in scheduling have prevented us from attending the past few years, but with an open calendar and the knowledge that these are family members we see maybe once a year at the most, we packed up our dishes to pass and headed south.  It was a quiet ride, and as we were pulling off of the interstate Elaina announced from the back of the Traverse, "I wrote a speech.  I'm going to read it at the reunion".  Now, anyone that has followed this blog long enough probably understands why I immediately experienced a moment of panic.  Elaina giving a speech?  In front of a group of people, almost entirely made up of people that she has never met?  I anticipated that this could not end well.  We coaxed her into practicing her speech in the car (mostly so I could censor what she had planned), and I was instantly embarrassed at my fears and doubts.  In a 40 minute car ride, my eight year old wrote something that perfectly captured the point of the day and she brought me to tears.  Here is what she wrote, written exactly as she did in her composition book:

Hi I am Elaina P*****, the daughter of Davied and Amanda P***** and I have something to say

note to self next page ------------->

Today is a day all family in the bolen fammily come here to scelibrate our family.  When I call your name please stand-up.  Kim, Pam, Marsha, Dale, Amanda, Daveid, McKenna, Ty, Tammy, Margy, Phil, and Erik, cari, ella, and cayden.  if I didn't call your name still stand.  Everybody please make a toast.  We are a family we will never not be a family we wil be together forever adn ever and I know I am very little to do this but I couldn't help it I love my family so I had to do this!  Fammilly can never not be a family.  No matter how hard we all try It will never ever work.  We will allways be there for each otehr.  Like when we are sad, upset, hurt, sick, lonely, silly, frusterated, mad, and entertaining.  family is everything to everybody without family you wouldn't even be here today so remember never say your not even going to be part of my family any more.  Thank you

There's a little bit of, shall we say conflict, between a few of the members of the family so Elaina's points seemed especially poignant.  I think my dad said it best:  it's pretty remarkable at her age that Elaina was able to nail exactly what the reunion should be about. 

Anyway, I was pretty floored by her spontaneous act and crazy proud of her courage for standing up in front of everyone to deliver her message.  As always, she never ceases to surprise me in the most amazing ways.


Anonymous said...

It was right on, perfect and one proud Gramma standing behind her holding on to her shoulders. I am so proud of my Lainey Bug. You go girl!

Gramma P

jen said...

I love the "we will never not be a family" and the "never say you're not going to be part of my family". Wise beyond their years these kids often are!!!


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