Thursday, May 10, 2012

The family's the key, I think.

My sister is hard to get on the phone. She's a single mother of three (one in college granted), works full time from home and never, Ever takes time for herself (besides the occasional reality show). When you do get her ahold of her, she tends to laugh at the right times, listens to your troubles, doesn't judge and rarely asks for anything in return.

Anyone's family, in the best-case scenario, has someone like my sister who can be selfless, empathetic and comforting. Again, I said best-case. I'm sad for those that aren't that lucky but instead have a bunch of self-serving siblings who crack insults about each other when the others yet hug them when they walk through the door.

I like my family a lot. I've got 2 parents, 3 siblings, 2 in-laws, 4 nieces & 7 nephews to-date. You add on my young children, you've for a party of 21 on any given holiday. If there was an award ceremony, every single one of us would get a trophy for one talent or another. We've got a VW car dealership owner, an Oscar-winner, a Fashion Design college professor, a Pastry Chef, Graphic Designer, a Doctor, an independent business owner and - and to save the best for last, one of the few people in the world that used to work on computers when they'd take up the size of football fields. That would be the Dad, the Grandfather, the Mr. Jerry. He can pretty much build, fix or repair anything (at least what from what I've seen). He's good for a bad joke, can get along with pretty much anyone, has a liberal streak 3,000 miles long and minimal tolerance for ignorance or uneducated bullshit comments (he lives in ultra-conservative OH, you can imagine the stupid shit he hears on a daily basis). Oops, sorry, "slippery path" alert...

Last summer, the lot of us got together in upstate NY for a week or dirt, grilling, swimming, biking, rafting and general familial camaraderie. Was there a fair share of drama mixed in with the good times? Without a doubt. I myself had a few stupid-assed moments related to personal duress (fortunately that emotionally draining, self-esteem wrecking weight has been removed) and it was apparent. But the greatness and love in this moment of time keeps me sane and grounded. My favorite memory, on maybe the 5th night was the twenty of us sitting down for dinner. For that one hour, in the middle of New York, protected from 3G service by red oak, black cherry and yellow birch trees and listening to an orchestra of chickadees, starlings and sparrows, my family was a unit of one - celebrating nothing, loving everything.

Twenty-five years ago, we were a unit of six. Many people had been added with a few subtractions over the years - but the core remains consistent. We may frustrate the hell out of each other from time to time with crackpot drama and selfish motives. But really, would we have it any other way?

If interested in being a full or part-time member, we usually accept applications in the fall. I'll forward you my sister's email, she reviews all candidates.




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