Growing up, Labor Day was always about the Four Families. Before we moved to Marion, our family had a house on Point Connett in Mattapoisett that we shared with the Young family (Maja, blonde, and Nella, bride, above). For at least a week at the end of August the other members of the Four Family tribe would arrive and we’d pile into bedrooms and spend our days together. There were Ethan and Tyler Vogt (Ethan the token male above, my oldest friend, one of Whit’s godfathers) and Ann and Matt Moss (Ann in black and white dress). We windsurfed and swam and went for walks and created elaborate song-and-dance shows for our parents. We slept wall-to-wall in the back part of the house and snoozed in the big hammock in the front yard during the day.
These other six children were the extended family of my childhood. They have remained dear to me, though we’ve scattered to the winds as we grew up. The picture above was taken at Nella’s wedding in late June this year. We have seven children of our own now (Andrew, Oliver, and Emma Vogt, Hannah Mead Gilheany, Eden Young, and Gracie and Whit) and the weddings come fast and furious. We grew up in the loose embrace of communal parenting, shared responsibility, and vast and varied experiences.