Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ah Family, You Can't Pick 'Em Can You?

Family has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I mean extended family, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Cousins.... the whole lot. This is partially because Declan and I are travelling to England in a week to meet some of my Family and I am excited but there is a undercurrent of concern there as well. You never know what you are going to get. The Canadian side of my Family are outsiders with the English side. This is through no malice or forethought I am sure but through separation. We aren't a part of the everyday goings on of life in England so we are not part of some of the petty arguments are the large issues that are unresolved.

As such I feel I have to delicately map out the time that I have to try and insure that there are no slights. Please don't misinterpret that I think my coming is a major event for anyone, I am sure that it isn't. It is just an honest effort to see my Grandmother and have her meet her Great-Grandson. I don't want to create any problems.

I have cousins that I have never met and we are all adults. I think that is preposterous. I have had more contact with cousins in Australia than I have had with some in England. That is preposterous and I want to try and fix that.

I find the same issues with Family over here. We attended an event last night and I found myself calling my Mother to find out who was attending and who wasn't so that I could be prepared for any cold shoulders that may be turned my way. None of the invited guests were of the cold shoulder variety and all in attendance were incredibly happy catch up with us and see how our kids are growing.

This is what Family should be. I find it disheartening to think that you need to prepare yourself for an event of any kind in the anticipation of problems but I find it necessary nonetheless. I have been assured in the past that nothing would happen if certain individuals were in attendance but there always the discretionary, "if anything did happen it would be handled appropriately.". That unfortunately is not good enough. The fact that there are omissions in the invites speaks volumes at these events.

What am I getting at? I find it unfortunate that in the end events occur that require the elimination of relations with certain members of any Family. In my specific case I find it unfortunate that my children will probably not have the chance to know their full families. I however am also relieved that my children will not be subjected to the vitriolic and venomous confrontations that I witnessed growing up. No family is perfect, we all have little ugly secrets that we wish would stay hidden. When my children are old enough to start asking questions I won't hesitate to explain the reasons that I made the decisions that I made regarding the family that they met growing up. When they are old enough they can then make the decision to reach out to those family members if they so wish. Just as I am doing now.

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