Monday, December 28, 2009

meditations on family...

well, friends... we're back from Appalachia where an ice storm shut down our power (and our heat, too!) on Christmas day.

it was still a special holiday because it was only my second white Christmas, we were with my wonderful in-laws, and still had homemade beignets that morning. boone liked his gift (woodworking lessons with this wonderful craftsman! hooray!) and i got a v. lovely bottle of perfume and a tshirt that supports women's education in Africa... all in all, our first Christmas as a family was wonderful!

but, really and truly, it was hard to be away from my own family. boone had to put up with my homesick tears. i honestly didn't think that being away from my folks would be so difficult, but i also knew that it was important to be generous with the time we give to each other's family.

boone, is, (of course) really great at this. it's definitely not because my family is better or easier than his (my side is a little more emotional that his) or because he's not as close to his family as i am. of course i really appreciate how generous he's been about the whole holiday time-sharing situation since my fam got double actual time spent (but his fam got the best holiday). i wonder if things will ever get easier.

you know, people tell young marrieds stuff like "you're your own family now, so make your decisions independent of your folks' and sisters' and nieces' choices. do what YOU want to do!" but even if this is easier, i think that's wrong... even if we think every single one of our family members is crazy, or boring, or mean, we're still tied together by a pretty serious bond. i think that knowing cousins and uncles and grandparents is something special. but how can you maintain a healthy balance between knowing and spending time with family and building your own family with a new spouse? any ideas?


Sarah said...

I hate to put labels on men and women, but I think in general men handle stuff like this better than women. On a whole, Bruce is much better with my family (either when they are visiting or we are visiting them) than I am with his. And Bruce's family is WONDERFUL, don't get me wrong. But last time they came into town, I definitely broke down in tears. It's hard to be the "newby" and to feel like you're still trying to fit in.

Ew - it's like high school all over again.

Kathryn said...

We definitely have to talk!