Have you ever noticed that you can build up a day and make it special by giving it a name? Today I went to a family Chicken Day! where the family got together and, unsurprisingly, ate chicken. Done in the turkey deep fryer, but still, mainly a day for the family to get together and share a meal.

I remember a day about 7 years ago when a nephew handed a foam sword to his 3 year old cousin and yelled “HIT ME!” – and his training began. It was funny and perfect.

Everyone assumed that the younger cousin was the last, it made sense. I was widowed, the two families with children had announced they were done, and the other two families showed no interest in having kids. He would be the last sword fighter of the family.

Then along came my son, late to the clan, and rarely available. Although loved and accepted in the family he missed out on some times that weren’t ever going to return.

Still, he is of an age where swords are great and 10 days ago we purchased three swords to bring to Chicken Day. I alerted one of his aunts that the sword wielding cousins were going to be brought into service again, out of fear that at 17 and 14 they would be too old for it if it came as a surprise.

We arrived at Chicken Day! first and put the swords behind the chair at the head of the stairs. Not long after the cousins arrived and before they got up the stairs Jeff was showing them the swords…

I don’t know when I’ll put these last bits of fear aside and trust in their love completely …

It was 30 minutes before the boys came up the stairs. They went straight into the basement and the training began. Then the all out sword extravaganza. They came up for snacks, and eventually for chicken (Chicken!) but they spent the day with my son. They played and laughed and smiled and were absolutely wonderful with him.

I suppose, to be fair, I should point out they didn’t sword fight the whole time. For awhile my husband had a long, engaged, conversation with the 17 year-old nephew about physics.

It was great.