Growing up with my maiden name, I made it a quiet goal that I’d marry someone with a surname that was easy to pronounce and spell (as mine wasn’t), and that it started with a letter near the beginning of the alphabet. 1 out of two with Hawkins (which try as I might “Hawk… yes H-A-W-K… like the bird” is often overheard or understood as Wilkins, or Wilkinson).
Becoming a Hawkins, was nothing more than a simple name change. There was no sense of belonging to, or creating a new family, with my now husband. Hardly any thought was given to it at all. I got married young (in today’s terms). Too young to think or care of futures, and lives with (or without) kids that would play with cousins while I drank wine with new sisters and was called aunty by little ones who would then become big ones.
I have my own sisters. These are the only sisters I ever thought I needed or wanted.
Until very recently, where I had one of those (yes, fairly drunken) moments on a dance floor and realised – this crazy bunch of lookalikes that share my surname, is also my family.
The dance floor was in Wellington, at the wedding of the latest Mr & Mrs H (well he was always a Mr H) and why else would I be in Wellington if not for a wedding? Have you been to Wellington? There’s very little to do there. Winemakers, the both of them, and with big dreams and plans in motion, the Made from Grapes duo have been together for 8 years (or so). While the comments of ‘it’s about time’ may have been the same that that Mark and I received as we dated for 8 years prior to our Stellenbosch nuptials 7 years ago, the time dedicated to the… err.. courting (what??) doesn’t run in the family as the littlest (but oldest) Hawkins fell in love, moved countries and was married within 2 years! But the general stubbornness of knowing whats right and when the time is right, does.
The Hawkins stubborn nature (of varying degrees based on situation) is one thing, but the real Hawkins resemblance is all in the eyes. Or perhaps its the nose. Whatever. The genes in this family are ridiculously strong. The four of them look everything alike. (There have been awkward ‘dark club’ moments, we can’t deny but do not talk about either. Not openly. And not sober).
4 brothers. All alike in hairy eyebrows and stubborn nature isn’t where the Hawkins genetic pool stops (or starts). Their sister, plus all the cousins with a Hawkins blood line, are little mirror images of each other. (Well, each set of siblings mirror each other. Which isn’t that weird, I suppose. But when you have a lot of families in the same room together, plus a lot of children, everyone starts to just look the same. Its like a big family tree unfolding before my eyes.)
And so, at this wedding where 90 guests consumed 138 bottles of wine, where the guests changed out of heels and into sneakers just so we could continue partying even if it meant in the freezing cold (at least it wasn’t raining), where I looked nothing like the people around me, I felt very very much a part of something. And I found some new sisters.
This Drake Hawkins Family.