Friday, December 2, 2011

When It's My Turn

Day 2 - My Children Will Do it Differently - If you could choose one thing that your children will do or experience in a different way than you have, what would it be and why?

Even though I'm on the fence about kids, I want them to have a sense of family. I realize this sounds weird but it's something I don't really have. In theory my family is huge. In reality it’s quite small. As I become older I am increasingly aware that I don’t have the type of family I want. As a little background, by blood relation there is only my mother. My three siblings are all half siblings. Let me be clear that I consider family by blood, marriage, adoption, or any other way all the same. I have tons of aunts, uncles and cousins and yet I don’t feel particularly close with any of them. For example, save for one cousin, my entire branch of family in Georgia forgot my birthday; my mother’s brothers only talk to each other during the holidays; her sister disassociated herself from everyone decades ago so she speaks with no one. Given that the people I consider family are scattered among 5 different states it makes it difficult for me to spend time with anyone because I’m the only person living in NJ. The family in GA and VA are from my mother’s first marriage, so she obviously has no contact with them and to clarify I am not blood related to any of them. My family in NY consists of my mom, step-dad and 2 of my sibs, and the PA family are my step-dad’s family. In many ways I feel like the only child of an only child.

Until I moved to NJ I didn’t give my family dynamics much thought. This was just the way it was.  When I met my then boyfriend’s family I realized that this was what I wanted. Grandmother, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone spending time with each other on occasions other than holidays. I can’t recall the amount of times that we’d all get together for BBQ’s during the summer just because. They’re close. They talk to one another and are open. It was the polar opposite of what I was used to. My GA family is also like this. My aunt has 4 kids (my 1st cousins) 7 grand kids (my 2nd cousins). They are an incredibly tight family.

I want that type of family for my kids. I want there to be a multitude of cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings who actually want to associate the other 10 months of the year. A family that does things together and enjoys the time well spent.


  1. I think that's a great thing to want to be different for your child, and it's something you can help foster and create for him/her. My family is much the same way, big technically but very much separate of each other most of the time. Sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse.

  2. I have three branches; two are close, one is estranged, and that's exactly the way I like it.

    My boyfriend's family is different: because he and his family were the only ones in VA (like you're the only one in NJ), they established their own support network based on really close friends. I never had that at all growing up-- we had 0 friends outside the family. It's kind of nice to see so many unrelated people clustered around his house on holidays, laughing like family. And on the plus side: friends are like family that you can actually CHOOSE.