I’m sat here still in my PJs at 11am with my sister and cousin shortly due to arrive to go to Wild Life Festival with me and my husband, Gregg, so this is going to be a really quick post to you today, dear one. I hope that’s ok!
I just wanted to reflect on a few thoughts about family since I’ve got a lovely weekend ahead of me of spending time with some of my family.
I’m so grateful to have a family that is, for the most part, loving, kind and considerate of each other. I know other people are not as fortunate as I in the family department, and it makes me really happy to reflect on the relationships I’ve got. That I’m still close to my cousin Tom, even though life and our age difference could have made us distant acquaintances. That I have an honest and open relationship with my mum and dad, unlike older generations who kept a parent:child dynamic even when the ‘child’ was long grown up. That I count my sister as one of my best friends and know that I’d drop everything if she needed me and she would do the same for me. And my family-in-law, I’m grateful that they are kind and considerate people who are fun to be with.
These relationship don’t come from nothing – it takes effort and has taken years of honestly speaking my truth, and still times of being vulnerable to stay close. Family is messy, a hodge-podge of people linked by genes but completely different from each other. It’s no wonder that many families are distant with each other. I think of this effort of staying real and staying close like the effort of running a marathon sometimes, putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving along together with moments of such joy that make the journey worth the while.
Families are often taken for granted and it can be easy to just go through the motions of being together and falling back into the dynamic that was established growing up. I for one am the in-charge middle child who plans everything and is on top of everything. That’s my go-to. But I’m realising bit-by-bit that it’s important to scrape below the surface of just being family together to get to know each other for who we really are. To be honest, to get raw sometimes, to open up. For this is when the phrase ‘friends are family we get to choose’ starts to become a bit irrelevant. Because in opening up, being truthful and sharing our whole selves with each other, we actively choose them as family.