When we were kids, we reunited with our plethora of cousin at my grandparents farm. There were 63 cousins from seven siblings.
We considered our wealth to be in children and dubbed our gathering, "Watson's Wealth".
Now, our reuniting has spread far and wide and our own little branch is only getting started with 23 grandchildren, one on the way and a bunch of younger siblings yet to start.
This year, Mom and Dad couldn't make it, Newel was in Germany .. again ... and my sister was mid-move. It looked like things might fizzle.
As the time approached and the cyber-banter began, I felt that familiar pull. Taking a deep breath, I snagged my sister's three oldest in the early morning hours and plunged into the ten hour drive to accumulate the wealth.
It couldn't have been more gratifying.
As a mother of growing teens, I spend so much time worrying about the needs of my children. Watching teenagers with friends. Observing choices. Considering strengths.
Sometimes a mother's heart reaches out for answers in how to bring those children just a little bit closer to home ... and I don't just mean that as a location, but more as a grounded sense of who they are.
I stood in the kitchen of my brother's St. George home, taking a moment to soak in each of my children's smiling faces as they beamed up at aunts, uncles, and cousins they adore. In that moment they were awash in family culture. They were reconnecting with common beliefs. They were being held on to by righteous traditions. They were, once again ... home.
I don't suspect that any of my siblings or their spouses realized the effect they were having. They may not even know that their individual efforts within their families are helping to strengthen mine. That they add their wealth of expertise, their wealth of conviction to gospel principles, their wealth of faith ... to ours.
I knelt in mass family prayer at the day's end. I stood in for a blessing given to an ailing sister by valiant brothers. I sat on a packed church bench with little ones vying for space by favorite cousins. I gathered to sing songs and hear stories sung by beloved grandparents gone by.
Tongue in cheek, we laughed once upon a time, at the numbers of children being our wealth because families our size didn't have much else.
I hope the generations who have gone before can feel my gratitude and know the Wealth was and is, so much more.
And thank you to all my siblings and the amazing folks they've married, for deepening our sense of home.