Disclaimer first: I’m talking about family today so if any of my family members are offended by this posting, I apologize in advance. Ruffling feathers was not my intention.
Now on to the posting. This past weekend I, along with my husband and three youngest children, visited my parents’ Bed and Breakfast in Williams, AZ for the 4th of July weekend. Three of my siblings and their families joined us. Five days in the company of my spouse, children, parents, and extended family taught me several things.
1. Putting 27 people into close proximity for more than 3 days is a recipe for potential disaster.
2. Cliques are even more prominent in families than they are in your local high school.
3. A large group of inter-related individuals can become just as territorial as the fiercest wild animal.
4. The smallest slight, even unintentional, will cause the biggest trauma.
5. There is a every indication that World War III will begin between close relatives and not, as is supposed, between warring countries.
Don’t get me wrong. We enjoyed our trip but it had it’s fair share of drama and stress. Feelings were hurt, things were said that should have been kept back, tempers flared, and more than once I heard, “I wish we’d stayed home.” All in all, a typical family reunion with all it’s accompanying trappings.
Let me be clear. Despite our differences, I love my family and would defend every one of them tooth and nail. BUT, to say that we all get along is stretching the truth quite a bit. We lovingly tolerate each other. I know for a fact that many of my siblings think I’m bossy and opinionated. Two traits that I freely admit to. I get irritated with siblings whose parenting skills are vastly different from my own and who, in my opinion, act entitled. It is amazing to me that 6 individuals all raised in the same household with the same 2 parents could result in 8 distinctly different and disparate persons. I admit to finding it difficult to relate to most of my siblings and their spouses, however, I do love each and every one of them, despite our differences.
So back to what I learned.
1. You don’t have to like a person to love them.
2. Blood is thicker than water when it comes down to love.
3. Childhood disagreements eventually give way to funny memories.
4. Just because we are family doesn’t mean we are all the same.
5. Some time in the future, even this past experience with my extended family will become a fond memory.
Here’s to my family. I’m glad we have each other (cause no one else would have us) J/K. 🙂