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Friday, July 9, 2010

treading carefully

i don't get back to the motherland very often.
it's 650 ish miles away, and it's not easy to get back.
i'm the youngest of four kids.
my oldest brother is almost 18 years older than me, and we never lived under the same roof.
my sister is 9 years older, and was my second mom when i was tiny, as my mom was laid up after several back surgeries. she and my dad tag-teamed… and since i can't picture my dad doing anything infant related, i can imagine the lion's share of that responsibility fell on her shoulders. we've always been super close.
my other brother is four years older, and even though we grew up more together, it seemed like he and my sister were always tight… i was always the baby sister. most of the time, he just ignored me… or tortured me. heck, isn't that what having an older brother is supposed to be like?
family dynamics have always been interesting.
i've always been close to my sister… even though nine years separates us, she's never made me feel like the pesky baby sister (that was my brother's job!). we shared a room (bless her heart) until she left after graduation. i used to wake up when she would come to bed and she'd share her pretzel sticks with me (no wonder i had so many cavities!). we got pregnant together…our boys are eight weeks apart; our daughters six weeks. though i moved to tennessee when i began college, we've always managed to see each other frequently, our kids being the motiviation. after years of infertility, my brother and his wife had a son six months after the girls. having all the grandkids close in age cemented our relationship. the three of us get together at least once a year, but not always all three of us at the same time.
i feel like i'm rambling.
my oldest brother was married before i took my first steps. i was an aunt by the time i was five. he and his family lived in the chicago area… not terribly far from our childhood home… but it may as well have been…we saw little of him and his family.
my oldest brother and i are related by blood… not by shared experiences. his recollections of life growing up are so different from mine… it's like we had two different sets of parents. we aren't strangers, but we're certainly not tight.
it's complicated, really.
and within hours of my return, those strange family dynamics that make it difficult to go back reared up and  bit my outstretched hand.
i am looking for a way to interact that is engaging and loving. trying to swallow disappointment and hurt and be a peacekeeper.
trying to tread carefully.
but i feel like i'm walking through a mine field blindfolded.

5 comments:

  1. Hang in there.

    That's the best I have for you.

    See you Sunday.

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  2. This is so hard. Love to you.

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  3. i feel your pain, i totally get where you are coming from, i have experienced that same disappointment and hurt and i am (was) the family peacekeeper as well...family and birth order dynamics are very complicated and often painful...and if you don't live near your family and deal with issues on a daily basis, you always kind of pick up where you left off...hurt and vulnerable...
    all i can say is make it what you want it to be FOR YOU and be good to yourself around it...
    xo

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  4. Well here is a great big H U G for you.
    I can only imagine what that would be like having siblings so different in age.
    Praying for your comfort and strength.

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  5. my family has a weird dynamic too...I am not close really to any of my family other than my mommie and it makes me sad :(

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