Aug. 10th, 2007

slavetothestage: (ravenclaw)
So I've been thinking.

I got to go with my mom up to Conneticut last weekend and visit my grandma and my Aunt Terri, whose husband (my mom's older brothers) died about a month ago. A little surprisingly, I had a fabulous time. My mom's family's always a lot of fun, in ways that my dad's family is not. They're just a bit more...relaxed, y'know. Crazy. Like me.

Anywho, the thing that got me thinking is...growing up with family. You know how you're a little kid, and you have your extended family that you see however many times a year, and everything's just cool with that. There's no history to the family in your mind, except maybe a family tree. Certainly nothing dramatic.

And then you get older, and you start getting...whiffs of things. Stuff that's happened, stuff that's going on, the kinds of things your older relatives don't talk about in front of you quite yet. And you're old enough to know you're missing something, but you're also old enough to know not to ask.

Then, eventually, you start becoming...an adult. And more and more things get mentioned and discussed in front of you. And part of it is just learning about your family, about what came before you, the good things and the bad. But a big part of it is the confirmation that you ARE an adult. By talking about these things in front of you, things that can range from a little embarrassing to downright ugly or criminal, your relatives are including you into the adult community of the family. Sure, you probably haven't sat at the kids' table since you were in elementary school, but you haven't QUITE been a member of the adults' committee.

The funny thing is, you still end up in the dark about a lot of things. Your older relatives don't usually have a notebook in a drawer full of the all the family secrets you get to learn as you come of age. You figure it out as you hear about it and ask the members you're most comfortable with to explain in full.

It's just...an interesting feeling that's been on my mind lately. I was talking to my mom about it and she said she knew exactly what I was talking about, and that there were still things she didn't know, not because people were hiding it from her, but just because no one had thought to specifically tell her about it. It's a little difficult, too. It's hard knowing the bad stuff about your family, but there's something necessary about it. There's something about embracing your family, warts and all, because they're somewhere inexorably connected to you. I could probably make a cross-country trip stopping at McKenna households without spending a night at a hotel, just because that's the kind of family it is. And they could be relatives that I've never even met. Family's a funny thing.

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slavetothestage

December 2009

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