Families come in all sizes and shapes, as well as personalities. Mine come together as strangers. Sounds weird, but there is no other way to describe it.
I write this. not in pride nor shame, just fact. I come from a large family. There were 6 of us, which shared the love my parents dealt out. Being of many personalities, my parents had ideals of raising us, like so many parents do, like I have done in raising mine too, that us kids didn't share in their thinking. But whose parenting is the right way of raising children?
Today found us attending and helping host an open house to introduce our Grand daughter to friends and family. Attending the event were some of my family, who graced us with their presence, some we haven't seen in years, but live only across town from us, and the farthest, 30 miles away. It was a very nice visit with each other, catching up, who's who, who's where, who's doing what, etc. But we sat visiting like strangers, throwing topic after topic out to just converse.
The 6 of us grew up together in as normal of ways, I guess, but in the end, none of us really connected and held any special bond between us. As the years went by, busy with each of our own families and new families as we married, we never stayed friends to the end, sort of thing. I don't know if it is truly competition, just loathing, or dislike between us, but we don't even care enough about each other to call and check up on one another, from time to time. I know myself, someone has asked me how one of my siblings were doing, and I stood there wondering myself how they were. For I didn't know and til that moment, just didn't care.
Not to be misunderstood here, I think we all love each other, but nothing lasting to hold a foundation together. Like many families, we gather for funerals, to show respect, love and grief when someone dies. Other than that, we go on with our lives individually, dealing with our lives ups and downs, not leaning on each other, not being friends, not staying in contact.
So today, when 3 of us were together, it turned out to be us 3 younger ones, it felt good, just seeing how we look, hearing how we've been, talking about our children, work, our personal conflicts and conquests. #3 brother is gone now 7 years. The 2 oldest didn't care to join us, so at least the day wasn't lost to my daughter and her sister in knowing no one cared from my family.
I wonder sometimes, where we went wrong growing up, not to have formed a bond like many families have. And I watch my own 2 girls, talk of future things, make plans to do things together, share their troubles and joys, and wonder why I don't miss that bond with my own siblings. Maybe it's the different personalities, and if I meet them on the street, they won't be someone I would want to be friends with even, or if it's the fact that I know them too well to want to be friends with them. Maybe they know me too well too. Or the fact that we knew each other in the past and know secrets that would be better to stay buried.
All in all, these 3 strangers today, enjoyed sitting in a group and sharing with each other our lives since we last encountered each other. The 2 oldest ones, well they don't know what they missed. It was very nice, and I think someday soon, I might drive the 9 blocks and visit with my sister, and some Sunday afternoon, drive the 30 miles and visit with my littlest big brother too. They just might grow on me someday.