I haven’t polled them, but I don’t think my siblings would say I come from a difficult family. We have no history of abuse, and my parents were so textbook that I can only hope that I have the patience and strength they have shown throughout my life.
My siblings might say my family is ‘special,’ ‘different,’ ‘unique,’ or — because I know what those words sound like when applied to people — ‘superior.’ We do more than other families (our reunions are like theme park get aways with obstacle courses and water balloon fights) and we like to do it better.
But, we aren’t perfect.
As the middle child (number four of six, I claim middle), I’ve struggled with finding a place in the family and — I think consequently — in the world. We all love to laugh, but I took on the role of clown and bookworm. And, of course, rebel. (It’s what middle children do.)
To this day, though, I never seem to get enough attention or affection, and I’m very sensitive to the genuineness of the affecction I receive. (“I love you, too” doesn’t count as a declaration of love if you never say it first!) After all, we’ve all had that playground experience of being beaten up by a kid and then having to stand there while a teacher tells the other kid to appologize. I hate faked emotion. And I’ve always credited this to me being in the middle, starved for attention and somehow unsatisfied with the attention I got.
I don’t know if it’s true.
What is true is that the fights I carry around longest in my soul are the ones I’ve had with my family. Throw-away lines that my father used to get a rise out of me two years ago — the same way he provokes everyone just to start a conversation — are still burning in my memory. Comparisons, now, at thirty-four, between myself and the older brother (number three) who always seemed to overshadow me.
I’m certain, in my heart of hearts, in my most pure intellect, that I’m the only one who’s still making comparisons. And I need to let it go. Please, let me let it go.
In this moontide’s unit in the perennial druidry course, the focus is on family. It#s a bit brutal to think that I’m starting the year-long journey — and ending it, I suppose — on this topic. It’s one I need to focus on.
I love this line from the paragraph on family:
Consider the notion of acceptance, acknowledging your family members without demands or defensiveness.
The smart ass in me says “I’ll consider the notion, alright, but that’s about all I’ll do.” But, the person in me is thankful that more isn’t requested, and that the word used is ‘acknowledging’ rather than ‘loving’ or ‘appreciating.’ Not because I don’t love or appreciate them, but because those are hard things to do at will.
Still, there’s a bit of time until the star frost moon. I don’t see why I can’t make it a goal until then to really acknowledge the immediate family I seem to have slowy drifted out of touch with.
This is, after all, the season when one likes the idea of being acknowledged.