I am an only child, though my extended family is fairly large…in theory. I have twelve cousins, ranging in age from four to twenty-three years older than me. I wasn’t raised with them, and until recently hadn’t seen many of them since I was three. We never did big family holidays. Growing up, my parents and I would head south every few years to visit my uncles/aunts/cousins. I continued to make the trek as an adult as an attempt to connect with people I’m supposed to be close to. A few days every few years…that’s what family is to me.

I married into a larger family, and gained a couple of siblings and eventually nieces and a nephew. Not to mention a whole bunch of cousins who actually spent time together! We had to set the table for more than thirty people on Christmas. But when I divorced I not only lost a husband, I lost my family.

So, I had the theoretical big family and the temporary big family, but not the movie version of the big family I always wanted. You know, the everyone heading to the grandparents for a holiday meal/playing football in the yard/women washing dishes while the men watch sports/singing songs around the piano version. Seriously, where’s the scriptwriter for my life? Please edit me into one of those families!

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6 Responses to Family

  1. Hilary says:

    “people I’m supposed to be close to” – Without this coming off in a negative way, I think that describes perfectly my feelings about most of my in-laws. You can come be a part of mine & Jesse’s big happy storybook/movie family once we settle down somewhere for good. 😉

    • Melissa says:

      Well then, I better remember my piano lessons, since I guarantee you’d rather have me be the one playing the piano than singing around it at those family gatherings! XO

  2. I know what you mean. My mother is an only child so there wasn’t much family on that side that I ever got to know. My father had twin sisters who had settled with their families in northern Illinois, but at most I saw them twice a year. There is a part of me that has always envied larger families…desired what they had…but there is also a part of me that is quite private and probably incompatible with that sort of life.

    Oddly enough, after some initial awkwardness I’ve remained fairly close with former in-laws. They’ve been welcoming and kind. Still though, there is a part of me that craves what you’re talking about. The sad truth is that at this point we’re more likely to be the grandparents that everyone comes to visit, rather than the youngsters who are roughhousing on the lawn playing football…and that’s okay. I’m not old yet, but I can see it coming…and as strange as that is there are far worse things.

So, whaddya think?

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