all in the “clan”
June 28, 2010
For 3 days now, my family has been in the throes of one of our whirlwind gatherings. The past few times I have called it that–a “whirlwind,” it has struck me that the term has become habitual for me, as a descriptive one for our events.
Is this whirlwind-ness just a common trait among families? Perhaps. But I also suspect that we have a particular inclination towards non run-of-the-mill-ness. The melding of our scattered living situations [both across the country and throughout the world] along with our large percentage of individuals who do things, and who live life, in rather unpredictable, un-ordinary sorts of ways, creates a sum total of contented craziness. And yes, I do realize that my personal bias makes for the use of a word such as “contented” in a way that might not necessarily be called that by anyone with a more normal sort of upbringing and state of mind.
So now that the flurry of activity and long hours of road-tripping are past, I find myself reflecting on all that it means to be a part of a family. A real family. Just writing those words brings back the tears that sprung to my eyes as we said our goodbyes. I am not one for emotional goodbyes–I just don’t do them.
But yesterday afternoon, as we wound down from the happy, if hot, gathering, I made my rounds before the three of us loaded into the car. Kneeling by the kiddie pool where my niece was wading, I cupped her face in my hands. She had paused in her splashing-abouts, and was squatting, her head slightly tilted, obviously in deep 2-year-old thought. “Your auntie is going away again,” I told her, “and I’m going to miss you very very much. But I’m going to see you again at Christmas time. Ok?” Still not moving, she was so very quiet that I almost wondered if she had even heard me, and I considered repeating it.
But then I reconsidered. I suspected that she had, in fact, heard me quite clearly, and only wished I could have some glimpse into that beautiful little brain. Maybe someday. For now, though, it is enough to sit with that bursting heart-full of love for that little one, and to know that life is worth it all when it is lived as a part of a “clan,” as we like to say in my own :-)