We made the trip, in part, to celebrate the grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. Sixty years. That's quite a feat!
Being there, in their house (that they've lived in for many decades), immersed in Tony's extended family, was such a complex feeling. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, Tony's mom told stories of how the guest room we slept in was once her bedroom growing up, we drove by Tony's dad's house that he grew up in...
It got me thinking about how crazy it is that, when married, you essentially adopt a whole new second family, that becomes your own, becomes part of your shared history.
Of course I realized this long ago (two moms! two dads!), but you get a whole new half of a family tree, not just in-laws. Beyond that, our children will also inherit this connection - an even stronger connection than my own, linked by deeper bonds than marriage.
Tony's grandparents on his father's side (not the ones we saw this weekend), are Greek. That makes Tony half Greek, and in turn, our babies will be 1/4 Greek - a fact that I absolutely love! And believe me, our last name leaves nothing to the imagination in terms of heritage. Let's just say my married name is a liiiiiiitle longer than my old one.
My side of the family is of typical Western European descent (which, don't get me wrong, is awesome - helllllloooo pilgrims) but I don't know a whole lot about our lineage. I love that now I have a whole separate cultural heritage to add to my own, and share with our future children.
Honestly, the best part of all this is the desserts. Not gonna lie. If you've ever had galaktoboureko then you know what I'm talking about. Baklava is good - but that's for rookies. Galaktoboureko is phyllo dough pie-type thing filled with delicious custardy cream, topped with a sweet syrup. Seriously - get yourself to a Greek restaurant or Greek fest and try it. You will never be the same.
Can't say I like feta or olives any more than I did before, buy hey, you can't win 'em all.
Additionally, Tony's family, having grown up in Columbus, are naturally rabid Ohio State fans. I knew and cared zilch about this school before meeting Tony, but now - I sometimes catch myself cheering for the buckeyes a little more than my dawgs. (they are both red - so really it's not a far stretch...). I got up close and personal with a few Brutuses (Bruti?) during our trip.
Of course with a spouse, you are naturallly going to reciprocally share interests and hobbies, and learn to love what the other is passionate about. But the sense of family and connectedness I felt this past weekend was fabulous, and something I'm proud to be a part of.
OH! IO!! ... Opa!