Vonnegut and Sagan’s Extended Family

August 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm 4 comments

A topic Kurt Vonnegut hit upon often in his novels and lectures was extended families. He explained in Timequake “it is so obvious that we, because we are human, need [extended family] as much as we need proteins and carbohydrates and fats and vitamins and essential minerals.”

In both Timequake and A Man Without A Country, Vonnegut talked about an Ibo family he met in Nigeria in 1970. Despite an ongoing war in their country, two new parents were about to embark on a lengthy journey to introduce the baby to all its relatives— hundreds of them!

I met a man in Nigeria one time, an Ibo who had six hundred relatives he knew quite well. His wife had just had a baby, the best possible news in any extended family.

They were going to take it to meet all its relatives, Ibos of all ages and sizes and shapes. It would meet other babies, cousins not much older than it was. Everybody who was big enough and steady enough was going to hold it, cuddle it, gurgle to it, and say how pretty or how handsome it was.

Wouldn’t you have loved to be that baby?

A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut

Ryan and I didn’t have to travel far for Sagan to meet the rest of his Aunts and Uncles. They came to us last weekend! We also didn’t have to navigate across a war-torn country… though we did have to brave the DC metro.

Sagan - Day Twenty-Five - Aunt Emily, Uncle Darin, Sagan (Landscape) Sagan - Day Twenty-Five - Being Held By Uncle Jason
Sagan - Day Twenty-Four - With Aunt Rachelle and Uncle Thad Sagan - Day Twenty-Five - With Sara (Grandma in Background)
Sagan - Day Five - Aunt Carolyn Smiles with Sagan Sagan - Day Twenty-Five - Grandma Feeds Sagan
Sagan - Day Twenty-One - With Uncle Jay (Portrait) Sagan - Day Twenty-Five - With Aunt Rachelle

Aunts, Uncles and a Grandma!

Everyone who was big enough and steady enough held him, cuddled him, gurgled to him and told him how cute he was.

Sagan - Day Twenty-Five - Surrounded -  Two Grandmas, Aunt Rachelle, Uncle Jason
Surrounded! Two Grandmas, An Aunt and An Uncle

And this is just the beginning! Sagan still has a Great Grandmother to meet and a whole slew of Great Aunts, Great Uncles, First Cousins (Once Removed) and Second Cousins.

If Vonnegut’s words are accurate, and I suspect that they are, Sagan will be one well nourished boy in the extended family department.

Entry filed under: Kurt Vonnegut, Sagan.

Sagan and Aunt Carolyn Impersonations

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kitty  |  August 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Love it!! There’s nothing like being held, cuddled, and snuggled by those who love you! I don’t think Maddie was put down even once during her first four months of life. Garrett and I would take sleep shifts, holding her at night, and then during the days, with family, extended family, and friends… Maddie was well cuddled! It shows now, as she enters toddlerhood, that she was so snuggled and loved–she’s brave and independent, and knows that when she needs us, we will be there. It’s an amazing perk of “attachment parenting”… although I don’t like that phrase! Great post, and yay Sagan and all of his family-snuggles!

    • 2. tgaw  |  September 7, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Your “sleep shifts” sounds like an intriguing idea. Ryan and I sort of have unofficial shifts, but we might benefit from a more planned schedule.

  • 3. narami  |  August 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I loved this post 🙂 So much love!

    • 4. tgaw  |  September 7, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Aww, thank you so much. I think you are right– there is ample love for this little boy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Flickr Photos

3D Printed Products


%d bloggers like this: