Sunday, April 3, 2011

Family Secrets: You Learn to Like

And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life
from The Lion King, The Circle of Life, Tim Rice

What is it that moves us through? I suppose we can each decide that on our own but for me, it has been family. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The mildly attractive and the beautiful as well. The in-laws, the out-laws and the everything in-between. Family is that on-going drama that adds light, darkness and shades of gray. Family is that stage we develop on, acting out or providing an audience to. Is the term family drama an oxymoron? I’m going to take that as a yes. Family- that system that we are born into. Fate, predetermined destiny, chance, dangerous disregard, thoughtful matchmaking, careful codification and matching of DNA, genetic crap shoot, all leading to family. What you do with it once you get there, or better yet, once you attempt to create one of your very own is up to you and those you add, willingly or willfully.

Do you try to re-create from the ground up because surely the one you were born into was a complete social and genetic malfunction? Do you keep everything exactly as it was, because it was nothing shy of perfect? Do you keep it the same because you fear the wrath of those that came before you? Do you keep it the same because you don’t even know where to begin to change it or even know that you can? Do you try to emulate the good, or at least functional and recreate some new as you blend the belief system of another, and discard the dysfunctional, disastrous disseminations? Do we ever truly add or blend the systems of the other, or do we quietly submit? We try, most of us. Some, not so much.

Most of us attempt to make it work however we can. We try. We work. We try to work it out again. When we add children into the mix, we try one way for the first. We let go of some of our angst and fear for the second. We are tired and delirious after that. The last born gets the benefit of time and worn down hysteria, or something close to calm or maybe numb. We give in and give up and sometimes just stop trying. So hard. We stop trying so hard to figure it all out and somehow everything that we tried so hard to do takes hold. And everything we tried so hard not to do also takes hold. And we become a little more like the same family we ran to, or from with a little more or a little less.

The pleasure of time softens some of us. We look like our mother’s. We look like our father’s. We act like them. We tried so hard not to. And one day we don’t exactly mind. We start to appreciate them, more. We sometimes enjoy the familiarity of them being so close to us. We finally accept the inevitability of it all. We see them through our children’s eyes. If we are fortunate, we like what our children see. It helps us embrace the future that has been skipping years by leaps and bounds making us, old. Older at least. And if this all works the idea of getting older starts to feel a little safer. We tried. We made some progress going around in this circle, ending up where we are meant to be. That's the secret we don't get told. We will end up very much like our parents, and we will learn to like it. I am cracking the code, and I hope this morsel of information may change and alter generations of those that come after me.

Hmmm, I think my mother even said that to me once, "You can learn to like it!" I probably just misinterpreted the tone, she probably was cooking a pot roast with pearls and heels on, whistling dixie or some such pleasant tune letting me know I would come to love the grizzly part of that old pot roast, I could even learn to love it if I smiled and had the right disposition....., stay with me while I hum....

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

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