Saturday, December 20, 2014

Family Matters

It's no secret  that I struggle with kids living far away.   It's one of the things about getting older that the memo didn't cover : how to gracefully deal with the reality of grown kids having lives of their own and often having those lives in different time zones.   By gracefully,   I mean at least not sounding like the mother on the phone with Duane (Garrison Keiller) on A Prairie Home Companion:

 "And just because I'm the woman who spent 22 hours in agony giving you life doesn't mean I expect to go on playing a part in your life, Duane. No, no, no, no, no. I stepped aside a long time ago. I don't want to be like some of those mothers. Suffocating. That's what they are. Suffocating. Calling every day, pestering, pleading for attention... "

No, I don't want to be the sarcastic, guilt-trip  laying mother!  The kids are all happy adults with busy, productive lives of their own who call me and come home when they can, and I know how lucky I am.  

{Map from World Market }

This map  shows the current state of affairs, with kids spread out all over the dang country.  (Notice the not-too-subtle message that the arrows all lead home to moi).

As a measure of personal growth,  I am learning to be grateful for the times we get to spend together and  to focus on what we have, not what we're missing.  We are  learning how to make this long-distance family thing work.   We all text, call,  FaceTime, and use Facebook and Instagram.  I do not know how people managed before these wonders of the electronic age.  Imagine back in the day, waiting for weeks or months for a letter filled with old news and no pictures! Plus we are all racking up the frequent flier miles.   While flying has none of the glamor of its early days, it's  a quick way to get from here to there.    We far-flung families have lots in our favor as we try to stay connected.  

We're lucky that our kids and their partners make the effort to include us in their lives.  Another benefit?  We have expanded our family to include our kids'  in-laws  ( and they include us) , bound by the love  adoration (!) of our children and grand kids.   We've spent weekends , dinners and birthday parties together as one big family.   This is a perk definitely not mentioned in the memo!  

Which brings this discussion to the holidays and sharing.  We could  lament the changes that happen when kids grow up and  want to start new family traditions of their own and with their partner's families .  OR we could be grateful that everyone makes an effort to stay connected .  I'm going with the grateful part.

Happy Holidays!


  1. With my family in Iowa, Indiana, and of course New Hampshire.. I can totally feel the emotion in this post. Especially around the holidays does it tug on my heart! But, as you said, I'm going to stay grateful that we all make a daily effort to stay connected :) Happy Holidays Deb!

  2. Thanks, Stephanie. Life is such a work-in-progress! Happy Holidays to you, too.


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