Family is a dirty word for some that sets off neuroses and psychiatrists on auto-dial. But for the things that I may feel I lack, that has been a gift that my parents gave me.
Raising children is precarious, messy and utterly unpredictable. You are given a finite number of years to teach the lessons, clean up when they get sick in the car, never have enough food in the house no matter how many groceries you buy, and be prepared to buy at least one pair of shoes once a month for someone in the gang who keeps outgrowing them.
Then you reach the delightful stage of adolescence. This milestone in human development is marked by repeated exhortations to someone who a) does not want to hear you b) says that they cannot hear you as they were not listening and c) wants to know why you keep repeating yourself when a) they heard you the first time b) did not want to hear you say anything the first time c) does not want you to speak in front of their friends d) doesn’t care what you have to say and e) why can’t you just give them money without saying anything? There is a reason that we have brain cells that die off as we get older……they have been held for ransom by our kids.
But if you get really lucky, somehow they grow up, obviously despite you, and become friends or helpmates to their siblings. They may growl at one another when you bring them home from the hospital, but know that when the chips are down and those blood ties yank a little too tightly, they will stand shoulder to shoulder and support each other. One of my favorite moments was hearing my oldest son speak about his new nephew, my first grandchild. He said that it does not matter what he is like, we will love him because he is OURS. The fact that the baby is happy, friendly and gorgeous make him easy to love. But he was loved even before he was met simply because he is one of ours.
As we have endured the recent loss of our mother, watching her decline and that of my grandmother, we are banded together. We want to protect our father, check on each other when we begin to cry, celebrate one another’s children in graduations, coming of age bashes, weddings and births. We celebrate and commemorate the passing, the rising, the beginnings, and the endings together as a family. We stand shoulder to shoulder, or head crying on one another’s shoulders, because no one should have to mourn alone, eat alone, sit alone, or remember alone what we have learned, loved, lost and hopefully will regain.
Sometimes we need to pull those family ties tighter to make sure everyone is included and remind them, and us, that even when it is hard, they are loved because they are OURS.
Thank you so much for stopping by! It means more than you know.