Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Time Thoughts

A friend said to me the other day , "Sometimes we just have to pick ourselves a new family. " It's at this time of the year around the holidays the wisdom of those words is most obvious to me.

It's been over 20 years since I made the split from my family of origin. The first couple of years it was odd and a bit stilted around the holidays as I worried about possible repercussions and dealt with disapproving comments. But I held my ground and after that I settled in pretty well into the comfort of real "Happy Holidays" as my in-laws gave up on manipulating me back into line. It definitely became easier as each year passed.

To be honest, I have not missed any of it............the tension or the stress that came just wondering what would happen next. Who would say the wrong thing and become the object of ridicule..........and whispered conversations.........or worse yet, screaming and yelling........... the drinking..........the invasions into my personal boundaries or those of my kids...........the unmet expectations that would be fodder for the whole entire year..............the embarrassments...........all of those things that made up a family get together.

Instead the biggest thing I have to worry about for the holidays is lumps in the gravy and whether my pie crust will turn out flaky enough. We've been able to establish our own family traditions with no unrealistic expectations to meet.

My new replacement family pretty much resides in my barn. They don't complain much......well, a bit of grumbling when they're fed late or the water is empty.......but mostly they are just happy to see me. If I do screw up, they easily forgive and forget.

My kids have long since realized that I'm not going to change. I think they've grow to appreciate the quality of our visits. While I may forget to take care of things like Kodak moments, I think the feeling around our house at the holidays is one of safety and security for everyone.

For me I can't think of a better way to spend the holidays..........my kids and their kids over for dinner...........my horses tucked away in the barn happily munching their hay............a day that will not haunt me the whole rest of the year.

8 comments:

Lily Strange said...

I'm still involved with my nuclear family of origin, though the "nuclear" part is sometimes very accurate. Neither of my parents was physically abusive (the occasional spanking, but no beatings) and neither of them have any substance issues. There's enmeshment and I admit to walking on eggshells to keep the peace, something that I tried to change 20 years ago but gave up because it just wasn't worth it.
My own "made" family consists of my son and my pets and some friends. Most of whom admissibly don't know the real me, but sometimes I wonder, does anyone ever know the REAL us?

Marj aka Thriver said...

This is a great post...so great, in fact, that it would be perfect for our holiday edition of THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. ;) You can still send it in because late entries still get forwarded to me because I maintain the carnival...and I'm still working on Friday's edition, so there's still time!

Kim said...

I have a question for you.. who/what brings you the most pain in life, and who/what brings you the most pleasure in your life? I'll tell you who/what brings me the pain and pleasure in my life, after you tell me who/what brings the most pain and pleasure. But for right now, I'll tell you, my twins sister answer for that question. Her answer, is, her 1 yr old daughter, who has brought her both pain and pleasure. Pain, in labor, but pleasure when she give birth and when she got to see her baby. Pleasure when she nurses, and relieves her mommy's "udder" lol.. ok, so people don't have udders, just mares and nanny goats, lol. But pain, when and while nursing, because she takes her fingers and pinches her mommy's boob and twists the skin.. it's hilarious to me. I cant give sympathy to my sister. But I'm sure my momma goats have sympathy for my sister lol. Um, what else? oh, um it's painful when lulu screams or cries lol. Especially when it pierces the ears lol. And pleasure to see her daughter listen, and when she is now picking up garbage, and can put it in the garbage bucket. But we'll have to make sure she doesn't throw away valuable things lol... what a pain. But it's a pleasure to see her smile and laugh... and I'm sure throughout her life, she will be giving her momma pleasure.. and pain! lol. Oh alright.. I'll tell ya my greatest pleasure and pain in life.. my "animal kids" LOL. My horse and goats. They can be such pleasures in my life, and yet they can be a pain in the butt! lol. Sometimes though, my family can be a pleasure to be around... and other times they can be a pain in the butt too! lol. So for you, who/what brings you the greatest pleasure, and the greatest pain in your life? your family, or your animal family.. or is it a tie sometimes? lol.. it's a tie for me sometimes.. lol.

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

That sounds like a great way to spend Christmas!

jumpinginpuddles said...

i swear you and i think so similary sometimes as we wrote a blog today to be up in a few days about our family and the decisions we have made. I think your family of four legged friends sounds fun.
Theres a blog up we have done that we thought might intrest you

Kahless said...

My family is Mrs K and my two doggies. I am content with that. I'd give my dogs a full turkey christmas dinner if I knew it wouldnt make them ill. (as it did a number of years ago!)

Enola said...

Animal families are wonderful. I think spending time with them around the holidays is just perfect. After all, aren't they supposed to be able to speak at midnight?

Marj aka Thriver said...

Thank you for your support of our carnival--and for this great post!