Long weekends are almost always a mini reunion for my side of the family. Since only my blessedly single sister is living with my parents, me and my youngest sibling, who are both married with kids and lives separately, try to squeeze in overnight stays in our parents' house during this time. We're not a perfect family. We have our differences and we disagree on a lot of things but I know at the end of the day, we're still family and we'll always be there for each other no matter what. And so these weekend sojourns are our attempt to keep our family bonded. And as Bo Sanchez blogged in his site, it's a way of fighting off the relationship drift. (http://bosanchez.ph/fight-the-relationship-drift/)
Rare family picture
One of the things I love about this visits is the food. My Nanay is a great cook. I miss her home-cooked meals so I savor each dish that she serves regardless of how simple it is. Dishes that were just normal everyday dishes before are culinary delights to me now. We still cook the same dishes at home but somehow Nanay whips it up a little differently and it tastes more homey (at least for me) when she's the one who prepared it. The fact that we get to gather around in one table and share this simple feast makes it extra special.
These visits also gives my parents a chance to enjoy their grandkids. I know it brings them immeasurable amount of joy when they get to see and play with them on an extended period of time. My Tatay who used to shower me and my siblings with 'pasalubongs' (mostly food like pancit or peanuts) when we were kids has now moved on to his apos. There would always be a big bag of Jellyace in the ref or a bottle of juice waiting for the kids during this planned visits. He would also always buy something from McDo or Jollibee after his morning jogs to bring home to the delight of the kids.
This is also an opportunity for my Miguel and his cousins to know each other. As Miguel is an only child (his having a brother/sister is rather slim), his cousins are the closest he can get to having a sibling.
And so, tedious as the all the packing and unpacking that this visits entails, it's a little price to pay for the joy we get from spending time together. Quoting again from Mr. Bo Sanchez:
"Life is about moments. And believe me, your grown-up kids will never forget these special bonding moments as a family. It will be their anchor. It will be their source of emotional stability. That amidst the sea of change around them, they know there are just some things in life that don’t change."