Have you seen it? It's pretty cute. I hadn't intended to watch but got sucked in.
It got me thinking how blessed I am with family. And how appropriate, since Father's Day was this past weekend! So, here's to family! The good, the bad, and the ugly. Because let's face it, all families have a little of each.
Are you close with your family? I used to think my family was pretty close-knit, but I don't know anymore. We definitely come together for each other when needed, and I'm pretty sure I could count on one of my siblings for a kidney if I needed it, but what constitutes close?
I have 4 siblings. At different times in my life, I've been closer to one or the other. (With the exception of sister 2. We have fought like alleycats my whole life.) I'm the only one of us who made the trip to visit our brother in Turkey when he lived there. For a while, I was the only one who saw our youngest brother often enough to know what was going on in his life. Now, I don't talk to either brother. Not by choice. There's just no effort. However, my eldest sister plans to come visit me this winter! I talk to her a couple times a month.
I really have nothing to compare against. I grew up an expat kid, going to boarding schools most of the time, where you no longer sit for meals with your siblings, but they are there in the background for support if you need it. I think this was good. I think by spending more time away from my immediate family, I got to experience a broader range of cultures and lifestyles, toys and foods. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe it's just what I know.
For the majority of my adult life, I never told people about growing up "overseas". Because there is one question that every single person who didn't do it ALWAYS asks. Say it with me: "What was it like?"
Here's the answer: "I don't know."
What was it like growing up where you grew up? Can you define it?
When we're growing up, we're kids. Our world view is forming. I don't have a background to judge against, so I have no answer. I know my upbringing wasn't "normal" but it's the only one I know, so what can I say?
PRO TIP: If you come across someone who had an unusual upbringing, do them a favor and ask a precise question. "What was the best thing about living in a dorm / abandoned ghost town / puppy-mill?" "Do you think you got away with more or less by being away from your parents / the living / the pig overlords?" "Did you learn to love spicy food / bats / dog food?" Anything besides "what was it like?" That question now makes me want to stab people with a fork.
Which I why I just stopped telling people about my past.
It's easy when you move around. People in Pennsylvania knew I lived in Chicago before that. When I moved to Delaware, I was transferred from PA, so most people didn't even ask. Co-workers in Indiana were content to consider me from Delaware. If you don't tell, most people won't ask.
Family, though. They always know, don't they? They know exactly where you come from - geographically, emotionally, spiritually - It's why and how we have inside jokes. It's also sometimes the cause for division, which is sad to say.
|I'm grinning at my sibling rival.|
I hope everyone has at least someone in their family they can trust. If not in their biological family, that they have created a valued family of friends. Because sometimes, that's the best there is.