It wasn't that our lives had been any less full of mayhem. It's actually been the exact opposite.
In the last month, our family has seen some major transitions including a wedding, a death, emptying our house out and our house sale closing at the end of the month.
And honestly? I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and exhausted from it. My parents have been amazing. If it hadn't been for their help, I think I would have completely fried by now.
Part of what has been so tough is that in my family, interaction is a full contact sport.
And the weapons of choice are passive aggression, self pity, and straight out nastiness. Which makes me desperately miss the days when I lived half a continent away.
My parents' house has remained a little haven of respect and kindness in all of this, we are considerate and honest with one another and the babies bring happiness to us all, but that doesn't keep us from being buffeted by the nastiness of others.
One of my biggest hopes in the world for my children is that we jump the rails on this legacy of nastiness and that they grow up in one of those mythical, magical "happy" families where we all love and respect one another and treat each other with kindness.
And maybe, just enough hardship that they are funny and strong but not so much that they are jaded by the time they are 5.
It is sad to see just how little happiness wealth and comfort has brought my family, and how the thing that so many of us are hungry for, family closeness, is also the thing we push away the hardest.
In my family, we confuse openness and vulnerability for weakness. And there is nothing that my family knows how to exploit better than weakness, so we are caught between the dichotomy of craving that close contact, and mistaking the openings for it as a spot to attack.
Somehow, John and I have built a relationship where we have both moved beyond this. Our relationship is strong BECAUSE we trust one enough to show our vulnerabilities.
There is very little artifice or exploitation between us and we trust one another enough to be open about our needs and kind in our interactions. We don't feel the need to manipulate each other in order to get what we need from our relationship.
And I sincerely hope that our kids learn from this and carry that kindness and honesty forward in their own relationships. Because otherwise, no matter how successful they are, how wealthy they become, or how incredible their accomplishments are, I will feel like I have failed.
|Bennett enjoying a little admiration from his fans :-)|