My family is a bit crazy. If you've met us, you know.
My brothers life could easily provide content for a dozen Jerry Springer episodes.
My parents are both great people, with big hearts and quirks.
There was a time in my youth when I was embarrassed by them and wished I had come from a different family. (Then again, what child hasn't, at some point, thought that?) However, over the years, through good times and bad, I have come to appreciate how fortunate I am to have them. We are a motley crew, but we work.
Through what I learned as a child, and what I've have had to unlearn as an adult, I've come to see the core of what makes relationships work. One component is communication. Open, honest, communication. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten in fights with my mom, and when all is said and done, and the emotion passes, we will still talk with each other. My family yelled at each other instead of keeping quiet and ignoring things. My parents didn't play passive aggressive games with each other.
Granted, my family is far from perfect, but we still try to be together. My parents have been divorced for over 10 years, yet, they still include each other in family events. They support both of their children and their grandchildren. We've spent Christmases and other holidays together. It's so weird, and at the same time, it shows me that you can still support the people you love without being mean to others. It shows me that love for your children conquers the dislike for the other. You can put aside your differences.
This is where it gets ugly, you are welcome to stop reading now.
It has taken looking into the ugliness of another family to help me recognize what is good with mine.
The event that prompted this post was a simple phone call. My good friend called his mom. Yep, a phone call. He was on the phone for 30 minutes and she didn't ask ONE SINGLE question about how he was doing. What kind of mother does that? She hardly talked to him at all. He had to offer information to get her to talk and her responses were, "uh huh" and "oh". He asked questions about her and she barely answered them. Once the call was over, I asked him about it. I told him I was sorry his family totally sucked. There was a time when that would have been hurtful to him, but he said it was just sad. It's a complex story, true, but, what kind of mother shuts out her son without even talking with him about why? This past summer he called to talk with her about it, actually have a conversation (crazy idea, I know), and she said it was in the past, you know, just sweep it under the rug. And then, she shuts him out. That behavior is just sick. He's not bothered by it, but I am. Wow, I just can't wrap my head around it. I actually feel sorry for them. My family is so very different from his and in all of our dysfunction, I think we are actually healthier.
Yes, this is harsh and petty.
I'm tired of being quiet about it.
It feels good to come into my own appreciation of my family. In a way, this is me beating my chest to show the world, mine is better than yours. I'll take my families crazy any day over his. At least my family calls me on my birthday. My mom smothers me and drives me batty, but I know there isn't anything I could do that would keep her from me. She loves me so thoroughly. She has always been a dedicated mom. She always wants to be in the know. As annoying as it is at times, I have no doubt of where I stand with her.
I truly feel sorry for his family. Fortunately, there is hope for some.
Once again, petty and small, I know, but, I did say I was stooping.