Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What is Family

I feel the need to explain my last post, not because my readers misunderstood or that I wrote wrong.  It's because the people most important to me did.

My parents did an amazing thing in raising the four of us. They managed to raise 4 individuals who are themselves.  We all grew to be very different people.

In being different people in different families, we will bicker and argue. We will defend the parts of us that developed outside the nucleus that we were raised in.

Regardless, I have a rare group.  I would not be who I am or where I am without them.  I was able to jump into a marriage and take a chance at life because I had them to fall back on.  At no point in my life have I felt that I was taking a leap. Of course I was, but I have ALWAYS had someone, someones, to catch me.

As pointed out by a sister-in-law, it's a rare thing to be able to say that.

At any and every point in my life, I have had not one but 6 direct people to reach out to.  Luckily for me, in marriage, I gained 3 more.

I have the benefit of being able to miss my life in Rio. I do. Saying my life there is pretty damn good is the understatement of the year.

But every day, every day, I miss them.  I miss every single one of my family.  I think of them.  Something happens and one or the other pops into my head. It may be something one would enjoy.  Or it could be how much I would love to take my nieces to see something.  It could just be traveling down memory lane.

The thing is, I have the perfect excuse to miss these reunions. I live far away and spend a small fortune to come. We couldn't afford to come here this year... any year.  But we did.  We did because it is a priority.  I will take one good day and bad one. That's still a trip worth having.

It's true that you don't pick your family.  But I pick mine. I always have and I always will. That is one point in my marriage where we agree. Family is family and nothing can replace it. It is unconditional.

And I am lucky because mine is...

Well, I hope so anyway!


  1. As your kids grow up and make their own family, they start growing away from their parents. I did not really realize this fact until this Christmas. I never really thought about it but I have not visited my mother on Christmas for over 20 years. Sure I visit her every year but I have not returned for Christmas even though she as asked me to. The chrildren have their own families and are often pulled between the parents especially during the holidays. As a parent I need to learn to let go and let them make their own lifes and not pressure them. And maybe instead of having all the kids over for Christmas the wife and I might go the St Thomas VI.


  2. At least your dad reads your blog. Mine doesn't!

    I have always my family to fall back on too - and moving to Holland was never experienced like taking a leap either. Yes, travelling to another continent to visit your family IS expensive AND very, very tiring - and although my parents have been into Holland several times and love the country and my lifestyle they still criticize me when I am around visiting them (why don't you get a better job ? why don't you study further in the NL ? Lose some weight ? why don't you visit your relatives ? why don't you call old Brazilian friends from high school ?) DUH !

    Lesson learned: develop a selective hearing. Forgive and forget.

  3. families are interesting... it's hard to move into this new phase of my life. I think I've tried to hold on too long to the family nucleus that was us. You've all flown the nest in style. I will visit and enjoy watching your families grow... will not stay over the five day limit, will not give unsolicited advice, will let family Christmas evolve into meet at the resort holidays, and will enjoy the next phase of my life... after the seven step program for obsessive compulsive mothers I plan on attending. St Thomas huh.....