3 meals a day.
1 epic family vacation.
When I first met the Hindman family, I figured I could handle the crowd, having grown up in a family of 7 kids myself. And while the noise didn’t scare me away, the bond these grown-up siblings had did make me feel like an outsider for quite a while. At that point in my life, my siblings were all in elementary and high school still, whereas Daniel was the second youngest of siblings that had already gone through college, gotten married, and started having kids of their own. The dynamic was completely different, and I wasn’t sure where I fit in. So naturally I targeted the kids. I knew what to do with them, play, listen, giggle, entertain. With my peers? I was mute. But in that silence, I did a lot of observing and learning. I enjoyed their crazy banter, ruthless teasing, and often inappropriate dinner conversation about medical anomalies they experienced in their respective professions, the non-medical side of the family moaning and protesting every such discussion. I watched them work through conflict, support each other in hard times, pray over one another, and poke fun at each other’s choices, hair lines, and looks.
And gradually I became one of them, absorbed into this family that comes together for an entire week and actually looks forward to doing so, into a family that loves on each other’s kids as if they were their own, into a group that gathers round to laugh, sing, and encourage, into a home where the terms sibling and friend are synonymous.