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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Family Ties

No, not the classic 80s sitcom, although that was a good show. I'm talking about the actual ties to my family, my kids specifically.

I was one of those fortunate women that was able to spend as much time as humanly possible with my children for most of their lives. Of course, now I question whether that much influence from me, someone who realizes just how much she doesn't have figured out, was such a good thing. But that thought will take more than a blog post.

My oldest daughter moved out almost two years ago. Now, when I say 'moved out', I'm using that term very loosely. Sometimes I think she is at home more than her apartment, but technically, she has her own address. I love it when she is at our house and our family feels complete, I guess. When she is gone, it does seem like there is a hole in the atmosphere. Of course, there are times when she comes for the weekend and before you know it, it's Wednesday and she's still there - dirtying dishes, leaving her wet towels on the floor and eating the last of the cream cheese - and I start to ask myself, "doesn't she need to be getting home?" But inevitably, when she does finally leave, I miss her.

It always amazes me when my kids seem to want to hang out with me. When they are away from me and they genuinely miss being around me, this surprises me. I usually assume that hanging out with your parents when you are 13, 16 and 20, is not what you want to be doing, but my kids really do gravitate toward home and toward me. It is the ultimate compliment as a mom, I guess, but I always find myself being surprised.

We have friends that comment when they are around all of us, about how lucky we are and how nice it is to see how close we are, almost to the point of being 'clannish', as one friend put it. Clannish? I never thought of that. Although I will say, if you cross one of us, you cross us all, so maybe that's where that comes from.

Being the person that I am, good or bad, there's always been an assumption on my part that I was flying by the seat of my pants in the parenting department. Even though I had very strong ideas about parenting, it never seemed like I ever had a plan, so to speak.

So, to end up in this place where I am, with 3 healthy, fairly well-adjusted, able to conduct themselves in public and hold a fairly intelligent conversation, strong, caring women, who like me for the most part and enjoy being around me, I'm perplexed at how it happened, but also very thankful.

For someone who grew up with basically no family ties and the few there were would send any normal person running and/or screaming, it feels nice to have a family that actually wants to be together.


Cherry said...

Sappy Pregnancy Hormones overfloweth!

I truly hope I will have this bond with my daughter someday (soon). While I still talk to my mom and see her, I don't really have this big bond with her. It's not bad, but its not the kind of relationship I'd like to have with my children. And since you learn from your parents, how are you supposed to know how to make things happen when you want them to be different?

I love that you didn't really have a plan and yet here you are with a great relationship with 3 ladies you raised and grew and nurtured. I hope I can do the same.

Holy Crap, I'm going to have a daughter.

Erikka said...

quite the opposite reaction for me - i read this and feel sad knowing that my parents have longed for something similar their whole lives, only to be disappointed. for whatever reason, my brothers who live practically next door to my parents DONT EVEN SEE THEM. I see them once a month, more than they do...and it kills me for them, to know that all they dreamed about was having a family, having family gatherings ... and it just isn't there.