Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thoughts about family

We have just returned from visiting family in Florida. It was a wonderful trip, and it certainly gave our munchkin the opportunity to get to know some relatives a little better.

Living so far away geographically, we don't get to see them all that often, and as such, the munchkin was a bit shy when it came to these "new people." Yes, she's met them all before... And no, she is not normally shy... But, nonetheless, she was absolutely NOT interested in giving anyone a hug or a kiss. She was usually willing to blow kisses, but would not engage in any lips-on-cheek kissing, or any arms-around-neck hugging at all. We tried to encourage her, but to no avail. We ultimately didn't push it for fear of making too big a deal about it. I do hope that someday she overcomes this and is willing to hug and kiss like the best of 'em...

We got together with a lot of people while we were in Florida, but there was one person that we did not see. There is a rather acrimonious divorce going on in one branch of our family tree, and it was clear that we were not supposed to have contact with the divorcing spouse. No one said this to us in so many words, but it was obviously the (unspoken) rule of the family. This frustrates me, and I am not sure how to handle it. Here is a person who has been in our lives for many, many years, then all at once -- POOF! -- this person is no longer in the picture. Sure the name gets mentioned, but only with a negative tone and a minor look of hatred in the speaker's eyes.

While I support our family member wholeheartedly, it also makes me sad that the other spouse will no longer be part of our family gatherings. I really enjoyed spending time with this person and will miss them tremendously. I also wonder if I would be "condemned" a little if I did choose to keep in contact with this person. I will need to weigh the details of the situation, come to terms with it, and then make my own decision. All the while, trying to be understanding of a very awkward situation...

Families are one of the most wonderful and rewarding things in life... And also one of the most challenging and complicated. It's no wonder that we love them so much!

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