Friday, May 29, 2009

Family of All Sorts

My parents divorced when I was in my twenties and subsequently remarried. With their remarriages, I have inherited quite a few new siblings and their children. Along with my sister and her three children, I have six step-brothers/sisters, their spouses and approximately eleven* more nieces and nephews. Additionally, I have around thirty-four first cousins. This does not include their spouses or children. This is a lot of family and is overwhelming compared to my husband's much smaller family, whom we live nearby.

During the holiday weekend we trekked up to my dad's where twenty-eight of us stayed at his house. Crazy, but fun. There were fourteen children in the house with the majority of them being under eight. What was great, though, is everybody helped each other out. We only get to see these families once a year and, since our parents have only been married a few years, we are still getting to know each other. My step-mother's family experienced a horrible tragedy when her husband and oldest son were killed in an automobile/train accident. Out of this, grew a great closeness between her and her remaining four children. I look at them and hope my children are as close when they are in their 20s/30s as these families are. (obviously without the horrific accident). I like being around them and their ease with each other. It makes me wish that we lived closer to all of them and my sister.

I love my husband's family. I wouldn't live across the street from them if I didn't. But, I have been in St. Louis now for fourteen years. I am ready to be closer to my family. Unfortunately, they all live in South Dakota or Wyoming and the chances of moving there are pretty slim. There doesn't seem to be a great need for bio-chemists in Sioux Falls, SD or Cheyenne WY. My husband also sees himself as a city boy and would feel very uncomfortable in the "country". So here we shall remain. I know this will pass, but for right now, I am missing them all.

*As with all very large families, there can be questions to how many kids certain relatives have. Sometimes it's best not to ask too many questions.


Bridgett said...

I'm a block away from my family. I like them well enough, but I know Mike would like to be closer to his. Same position--not a lot of work down in southernmost Illinois. Plus we're pretty tied down here. His brothers both live in the city now, though, so that's something. SD is far away.

Rebecca Hecking said...

Count yourself very blessed if you find people to genuinely connect with in your family. I am the "odd duck" Unitarian in a family of very conservative folk, and moments of deep connection are precious and rare.

plaidshoes said...

Bridgett - It is nice to see I am not the only one wishing :-)

Rebecca - I do feel very blessed and just lucky to have such a wonderful extended family. We are, though, odd ducks to our family (being the only UUs) and pretty liberal. Fortunately, we have been able to work around it and they just chalk it up to us being "different" and move on. Sometimes I do wonder how I got so fortunate. I hope your family is able to find a place where you all can make genuine connections.

Shannon said...

I had no idea we were so close to each other!