Friday, 6 March 2015

Family ties

..... or: my week of collisions, of the bodies and the minds. 

As you can tell by my indecisive titling, it's been an interesting one! With my arms stretching around my every-growing stomach, I am doing my best to reach the keyboard  and get this article out while my energy allows..... yes, i have reached the point where even this is tiring! :)

Events this week have left my hormone-addled brain circling around the question 'What is family?' and 'What does it mean to me?'

Small disclaimer: As with many other topics surrounding those close to one's heart - or not - and lifestyle choices, this is a very personal topic and I feel the need to point out that, like all my posts, but here in particular, this bit of writing reflects my personal situation and opinions and therefore need not apply to anyone else. I am pleased if you enjoy the reading as we go along and am grateful for my lovely readers! 

So, where were we? Ah yes, my hormone-addled brain and my currently nearly-too-short-for-typing arms versus a week of collision of the bodies and minds. 

What does family means to me? Recently this has been a question that has, I suppose understandably, due to current circumstances, taken up a bit more of my space in my thought process than it might have previously. Although I am not, as it were, an unmarked page, in this respect, stemming from a union of two relatively large families - always a good pre-condition for family drama. 

The stone that set my current thought process rolling was, to keep it very simple (as it never is), what seems to be a cry for attention from one of my more distant relatives (even more distant in mind than in DNA):

Were we in the Middle Ages, there would probably have been a Town Crier somewhere swinging a bell and shouting 'hear ye! hear ye!' before listing my various misdemeanours (my apparent preference to share with 'strangers' on my blog what one could share with one another, being in the 'same situation' in life, ie having children) to the local villagers (all and sundry in the family), preparing for my public flagellation. 

As we are not in 14th century, the flagellation took place in form of a melodramatic email lament, and I've been left wondering what family really signifies to me. Maybe you can picture my surprise as I had not even seen said missive and was called by my sister, checking that her 37-week-pregnant-sibling was ok and letting me know that she had valiantly leapt into the breach and taken on my defence. 

On reflecting on what has been going on, this perfectly mirrors what family means to me and what it has come to mean: family are my close and loved ones. My little family is my happiness and made up of my amazing Hubby, and what will very soon be our two lovely offspring. What I like to call my slightly bigger family are my lovely sister and my parents, who raised us to respect others' life choices and do so every day. 

Family to me does not rely on sharing a DNA string or a 'life situation'; if I insisted on keeping close to all people purely because they have 'dropped a child into this world' that would be more than a full-time job! And how one-dimensional and therefore boring would the relationships be assuming that having just this in common means one must have a lot to talk about. 

Family beyond my little and slightly bigger units means my lovely Aunt in LA who always supports me in what I do and makes me laugh. It means my little cousin, her daughter, who is spending 5 months in Denmark and came to see us less than a few weeks into that. It means friends who we can connect with no matter how long we have not heard from each other. 

Family means respecting others' life choices and not forcing yours onto other people. It doesn't mean sharing a blood line and it certainly doesn't mean spending time with people who are not good for you and vice versa. It has nothing to do with the naive image of having to get along because that is what 'one does'. 

Maybe this means that my contacts number fewer than others and that I am not at the center of big family round-up celebrations, but this is ok for me. Because those who count in my life will always know that they do. 

This, in short, was my collision of the minds for the week. 

As for the collision of the bodies: believe it or not, even as I feel that I am as wide as I am 'tall' (at a whole 1.6.... something meters), as I was coming past a bank yesterday, on my way to the physio, my nose (and it is not a very big nose) suddenly collided with a resounding 'crack' with this guy's shoulder, sending me bouncing off him, tears shooting into my eyes and reaching around wildly in order to keep my balance. 

I have not broken my nose before and never wish to do so, but this felt like I had come pretty close. Somehow he managed to visually miss me and I managed to miss him, and we ended up in a nose-to-shoulder encounter. 

Thank goodness several people around made sure I was ok, forming a protective ring around me, even against the unknowing assailant, who was trying to apologise as well. Enough said, a short nose bleed later, I was a bit shaken, not stirred, but ok. Only to be told by one of my rescuers, after hearing my ripe old age of 35, that her sister had had children late too! Hardeeharhar.

What a week! What collisions! I am returning to my hopefully quiet life and convening with Burpee over all the excitement.

Wishing you a good one. Yours, 

Cary

2 comments:

  1. Firstly- hi. I found your blog after a little search for "bloggers like me" (I'm another expat mother of 2 toddlers, living in Germany after a detour via Vienna); like it sofar.
    Second- I agree with pretty much every word. Admitedly what bugs me the most is the people who want to snatch up my baby and parent him or her in my stead, and don't like to be told they've no right to do so. I've been known to hand them a list of house rules even (is on my blog too-- will give you the link if you want it, but didn't want you to think I was commenting just for linkage value).

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    1. Hi Eris!
      Good to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed the post and always good to hear from other parents. Feel free to add your blog link, no problem at all. Hope you are doing well, there is not too much 'snatching' going on, and all the best!
      Kind Regards,
      Cary

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