You know the saying, “You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family”… I LOVE it. Why, you may ask? Family is what life is about. As I have shared in previous posts, my family is BIG due to divorce and remarriages and what not. Would I want it any other way? ABSOLUTELY not! I’ve got more cousins than I can even begin to count (about 27 including spouses, give or take a couple). I had more grandmas than I ever thought possible. With such a large family, there’s a lot than go wrong with the combining of so many different personalities and beliefs…BUT the cool thing is, you’ve got that many more people that care about you and would stick their neck out for ya in a heartbeat. And in a family such as mine, having experienced more heartache through deaths in the last 10 years than I ever thought imaginable, we’ve been given opportunity after opportunity to prove or disprove our closeness. Happily I can say that even though the boat can get rocked at times, with feelings being hurt during sensitive times and situations, we remain an extremely large and closely bonded family.
Somehow in the mix of the family I ended up being the middle child… Hmmm… Not sure how I feel about that in a stereotypical sense so to speak. I would have to say I don’t fit that mold at all. Perhaps it is because my role was assumed after divorces and remarriages. Do I wish I had a close bond to all of ’em ? For sure; but here’s the thing. Life, distance and circumstances sometimes tend to get in the way.
My sisters and I are close… yes, I said it… We are close. It may not have always been that way at one time or another…We may not talk for a week or 2 but that sisterly love runs very deep. Are all 3 of us exactly alike? Ummmmm, ya. That’s a big at NO! But that’s what’s so cool. My little sister and I couldn’t be more different but that doesn’t change the fact that I would do anything for her. Including her homework in 3rd grade and dressing her so she wouldn’t get in trouble for not being ready when we were kids. My “step” sister and I share ALOT of similar character traits and our careers. They bond over certain situations and circumstances while I have all together different bonds with each of them individually.
The little brother is a whole other story. I don’t think I was ever more excited than when I found out that I was going to be a big sister. That is excepting the days when I watched him graduate highschool and also when I found out he was getting offers for grad school. One smart cookie that little brother is. We’ve got lots in common as well, from music to personality traits. Jokingly we always say that the little bro got the best combination of personality traits from my sister and I.
My “Step” brother and I don’t get to see or talk to each other often… It’s definitely been a long time, but I have some really good memories of having gone down to visit him when my nephew was born. He’s definitely a phenomenal and proud papa to his son. I hope that the father of my children shares an ounce of the same pride he takes in being a father.
I really try to think about each of my cousins individually and think about what makes MY relationship with them so unique. With each there is something special that just “CLICKS” … something different for every single one. Whether it’s a specific memory shared, tough moments shared when a loved one was lost, common interests such as crafting, scrapbooking, music or cooking or just their individual ability to “GET” me without having to say anything.
All time with the family is the BEST. Especially as we’ve grown older and have responsibilities and families and what not. What little time we do get to spend together is held more closely to the heart and cherished all the more. From having cousins come visit and stay to games nights to cousin nights out or annual Kennywood trips as we’ve gotten older.
Family dynamics allow you to find common ground on many different levels. Common ground isn’t always a given in families…Blood doesn’t always create the common ground one would think. It takes work, love and understanding to find it and maintain it. My family gives me a lot to be proud of and to be thankful for on a daily basis. Gotta take a moment or two every day to be thankful for each and every moment shared… every little piece of common ground discovered.