I have never been a part of a family big enough to require a reunion. We have had many family gatherings over the years, but never a reunion. Father’s side, mother’s side, and weird couplings around weddings. These are the closest that we have come.
This week is something of an experiment. My family of four, my parents, my two brothers and their fiancées, and my paternal grandmother will be convening at our house. Costco, target, Peets coffee and tea, and a very short trip to Macy’s. So far, so good.
It just makes me wonder what we are supposed to be doing to get the most out of our time together. Should we be going out to the Zoo like we plan or should we be staying in and watching movies. Should we send my children off to school and have some more adult time, of is it sufficient to keep them with us every day so that the whole family will get to hang out with them as much as they would like.
And why do these questions suddenly matter so much to me? Well, I think that questions of family are the basis for most of the questions that I am asking. If the family is the most basic subset of a collaborative team, I should want to see just how far I can take my ideas of working together within an intensely tradition-based group.
So, my first order of business was to create a Google Doc for planning out the whole week. At certain times, each member of. Y family has logged in and put in their preferences for food, entertainment, and sleeping arrangements. My mother and I spent a good afternoon getting the document worked out, carving conversations in the comments and then responding with new pieces of information elsewhere in the document.
My father then set up a dropbox.com folder for all of the PDF files and directions that we needed. This folder syncs with my computer and iPad, so I haven’t been out of touch on any aspect the whole time.
The next order of business is to establish a familiar reunion hash tag so that all of us can tweet no matter where we are in the city and we will all be able to follow along. We will also be posting to flickr and facebook using this tag for easy searching. I can’t wait to see the geotagged Map of our trip.
Asfor the plans, maybe we should be putting the whole thing on plan cast so that people will be able to follow along with our exploits. Or, perhaps we just need to post our itinerary afterwards via FourSquare. I feel as though it may be better to know where we have been for some reason than where we are going.
I think we should probably scrobble the whole weekend’s music lisning on last.fm. I also think it might be a good idea to track our coffee consumption with a live coffee cam set up to stream from the kitchen.
Okay, so perhaps those ideas are a bit much, but I am interested in pushing the idea of a family reunion to the estreme, mostly because I can’t stand the idea of being in a family with matching t-shirts. I want to be a part of the family that tags things via bar code (a la stickybits). I want to be a part of the family that doesn’t ever give up in trying to all be in the same place at the same time, even if that means skyping someone in.
I want to literally put my family on the map, a Google Map.
They say that the key to a family is communication, and in this one small area, I think THEY are right. What I would like to attempt is to communicate as much as we possibly can so that no one is left behind, and no one forgets what they are supposed to do, or even what happened. This week is going to be fantastic, not only because it will be filled with my family, but because my family will be working together to create the types of environments that I always want to be a part of.
Who knows, perhaps we will do such a good job of experiencing, communicating, and archiving our adventures that we will be able to play them back like a short film and allow future reunions to simply continue the story.
More than anything, I hope that this week is something that we will struggle to top in the future because we take enough risks and find the right amount of relaxation and fun. Shouldn’t be too much to ask for.