Sunday, November 16, 2008

Repost: The Turkey is a-Comin'

Originally posted November 17, 2007.
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We are all excitement here. Evan is coming.

My house is a disaster. Joey is sick. The guest bedroom isn't set up, and is in fact still full of boxes of I-have-no-idea-what-because-I'm-a-packrat-queen. I got the shower re-caulked and a new showerhead, but the showerhead isn't installed. Andy is hoarding again. But it's okay. Evan is coming.

Families are funny things. Families usually have two parts- the part that you were born with, and the part that appears over time. Folks who don't get the whole humanity thing forget about the second part of the family (often while complaining bitterly about the first part). They see them as outsiders, keep them at arm's length, forget to let them in and enjoy them. More and more and more people I meet are like that- there is an isolation of humanity in today's culture. We have become so focused on nuclear "family" that the rest of it drops into a grey abyss, our children not given the skills and understanding to expand their families and relish them. After all, all families are strange. They are full of people. People are here to be loved. Too many folks now expect people to meet certain ideas and expectations before they will even acknowledge the other person's existence, much less refer to the person as a "friend." Instead of taking people as they are, and start from there, and see what happens, they automatically exclude everyone until proven otherwise. Safer? Maybe. But you miss out on a lot of family.

Joey loves the world and the world loves Joey. People like to be accepted, no strings attached. Joey has a knack for that. "Hi, Friend!" he cheerfully calls to all and sundry. You're invited- you’re a friend until proven otherwise. Andy doesn't have this talent. He's far more of a question first, be friends if the answers are OK kind of guy.

Anyway, Thanksgiving is one of those family holiday things. People's families get together and celebrate being on the earth and get to have some time to just hang out and enjoy each other. We can appreciate Aunt Susie's love of carrot cake, the lopsided way Cousin Johnnie smiles, take joy in Grandpa's old war stories and Grandma's taste in clothes. We can pick up on the little clues that speak to who we are.

When we grow up, and go out to make our own little nuclear units, holidays are great times to remember the rest of our families. Those brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins who may not share our bloodlines, but remain our families. Those connections to humanity that remind us that we're all in this together, we might as well enjoy each other for this brief shining moment.

Evan is coming. Christmas is upon us.

I love Christmas.

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With holiday love to Beth, Jean, Maddy, and Joe, and the rest of my online family.

1 comment:

Nicki Mann said...

I appreciate so much when people expand their "nuclear" families to include would-be outsiders. I have been unofficially adopted by several families, including my best friend's family and now her youngest child's father's family... just instantly allowed in and included, with no questions asked... and I am always so grateful. Its something I definitely want to pass on to my own children some day.