Families are the source of my gravest frustrations and deepest pride. They bring me to tears for a wide variety of reasons. Right now, I'm more emotional than usual so a sink full of dirty dishes can trigger a meltdown, as will a stealth smile from DNe.
The Little girls hugged my knees while the oldest girl brushed my hair. Some people separated themselves from the family unit, then made me cry harder when they snuck back in as if they'd never said such a thing. Dinner was interrupted for a Sparks meeting while dessert was delayed to pick up the oldest kid.
All the chaos and drama(she splashed me with WATER) induced several headaches. Then hugs (you won a PRIZE ) as if nothing had happened.
No one said sorry. No one acknowledged the harsh words or dented feelings. There was more than one elephant in the room but they were fed, their trunks petted and ears scratched. This is more than an analogy. We have elephant salt and pepper shakers that amuse my mom and the nieces no end.
Earlier in the day, I wanted to run away from home, disavow all knowledge of these people to whom I am related and hide out in mountain cabin writing away my angst.
The reality is I love these people. They scare me, they worry me, confuse and ignore me. Even when we're all in the same room, it's not a Hallmark card. We squabble, bicker and kibbutz. We're also fiercely loyal and protective of each other.
We're all feeling the same stress right now. It's taking its toll but listening to the laughter that was shared around the table, hearing manners being expressed and watching everyone try to hold each other up (literally on the part of the four year old) made me realize - and more importantly, appreciate - that we're all in this together. As long as we stick together we have a stronger chance of surviving - and enjoying ourselves in the process.
A very good thing indeed.