I have a large extended family, lots of aunts and uncles and cousins. When I was growing up on the east coast, visits and family gatherings rooted me with a sense of this is where I come from, and this is where I belong.
Now, I live on the west coast, and I can’t imagine ever moving back east again. My soul belongs here, and I mostly feel happy about that.
But Z won’t have what I had growing up. The photo album that we created for him of “extended family” has very few faces in it. We have no family here in Seattle at all–my husband’s parents are gone, my parents are back east and rarely visit. That leaves my sister and brother-in-law and niece who live in California.
They came to visit this weekend and it was bittersweet to watch Z completely come alive when he was with his cousin. He smiled and shouted her name and giggled like I have never seen before.
As persuasive as I can be, I don’t think my sister’s little family is going to move here anytime soon–they have a great life where they are. We both landed in places that are right for us.
And I know we can create our own family here. That we can make a family-of-choice in addition to our family-of-origin. But it’s slow-going creating something from scratch.
What happens when this is where I come from is no longer this is where I belong?
In the absence of blood ties and shared history, how do you say to someone–hey wanna be family?
No related posts.