Before I go on about family:
Sometimes (a lot of them, actually) I think this exclusive motherhood business is going to drive me crazy. Or perhaps the exclusive motherhood in a tiny apartment business...that sounds better. I'm tired of sitting between the same four walls, between couch and wall, between bed and wall, between chair and wall. And doing the same things over and over and over and over again.
I know that these things which seem so repetitive do change over time, in a very slow upward spiral direction, and that gives me hope. I have to actively notice these changes, however, or else I have the false belief that nothing ever changes.
My family. I miss my family in an odd way. I never noticed before how much of my identity comes from them. A LOT of it. Now that they are all spread out across the country and continents, I realize their importance. What are we like, as a family? I always presumed we didn't have many "family" characteristics, but we do.
Let's see. First thing I would definitely mention is our low attachment to material things. This is an important value that was passed on to me. We have money, but we don't have expensive things. And when we do, they are not of utter importance and their absence is not significant. We make do with what we have available, whether of great wealth or not. I can make a toy out of a bottle and beans just as easily as with a trendy Fisher-Price gadget. I think this will be passed on to Cora, for I demonstrate this to her with all of her "things", be them clothes, toys or accessories. No one thing is irreplaceable or priceless.
As a family, we value experiences over material things. Education, there's a strong one. Ever since I can remember I was taught the value of studying and investing in personal betterment.
Oddly enough, we value experience over people, as well. In the sense that we leave each other free to pursue what is best for each one. This comes at a price, but both my parents decided at a young age that this personal independence is more valuable than supposed family union at the price of freedom of thought and ways. This has also trickled down to us daughters and is one of the trickiest matters I have to negotiate all the time in my new family. My in-law family does not live by this motto. Actually, this seems to spear them in the heart and all they hold valuable. I've been feeling like a total witch these last few months because in order to be true to me, many a time (MANY) I have to frustrate them and what they believe to be true. I wish they could realize that I am not a threat - that me having my distance and personal independence does not mean I am trying to destroy family or whatnot. But how do I deal with a family who believes that happiness comes from family that my happiness (and therefore that of their granddaughter) can come from being a little less in herd family mode? How do I deal with this if in order for me to be "happy," I apparently have to make them "unhappy?" Tricky business.
Back to my family.
In the same manner that we are not held by family legions or traditions, we are also not particulary patriotic or have a strong sense of roots. We look forward and beyond frontiers and borders. My sister and I were raised for the world. My mother and father, in their own way, left their small town families behind to live the world. I do not want to give this up, and I believe tha tif I do, all that I know to be me will wither away and suffer. This is one of the strongest things I value and that make me feel especially happy. The world, the traveling, the learning and exploring. I will never be content in just one corner of this big wide world. Luckily, I believe Ez and I have this affinity. Although his drive may not be as clear or strong as mine, he does have it. And that propels us into the future, with common plans and dreams.