Close…Enough

We have zero pictures of us together. You know the ones people take at like JC Pennys all dressed up - yeah, none of that. So here's a picture of a family I grew up with.

We have zero pictures of us together. You know the ones people take at like JC Pennys all dressed up – yeah, none of that. So here’s a picture of a family I grew up with.

Again, sitting around the table and discussing our days is something as foreign to my family as financial security. I would never say we’re too close, just close enough for a group of individuals linked by blood. Do I talk to my mom every day? Almost always yes, but do I check in with my brothers and dad on the daily? Not at all. I listen to my dad’s ring back tone every other week and my younger brother finds time to chat whenever he feels like it. Older brother is kept at an arm’s length thanks to Facebook messenger, and that’s just fine.

When I think of what makes a family too close, doing just about everything together comes to mind. While that works for the sisters we met yesterday, that would not fly with my family. Maybe it’s because we don’t all live in the same place? Talking to Cora, I remember her mentioning that she wasn’t just close with Cindy, it was cousins and such as well. I couldn’t even wrap my head around that concept. They have these family get togethers and go places with one another like friends. Cousins? Here’s the thing, I have don’t even know how many cousins have have off the top of my head but I can tell you that in all honesty I only really care for a few of them like they were siblings, okay like step siblings. Because they were the ones who lived in the same town as us, I guess they’re the only ones I’d ever really think about if you asked me about such family members. Is that bad?

I think it does have something to do with distance. When my older brother took off for Arkansas, my mom was devastated that not only her first born had left, but her first grandchild. She cried every time they called for a year or so but as the years passed, she kind of forgot about the kid who initially made her a mom. Not to say his existence was erased from her memory, it’s just he’d been gone so long – it was like, oh yeah…I have another kid, the “white one” as we like to say. That sentiment was something I inherited because out of sight, out of mind in my book. I can see what this cousin who lives a state over is doing and can connect with so and so through Facebook if necessary but again, that’s just fine. Hell, that’s just my mom’s side. At least I could guess the names of family members on that side if asked, my dad’s? Me and my younger brother barely met a good chunk of that side of our lineage a couple of years ago when our dad asked us to go to a family reunion with him.

Back to my immediate family though, the ones I’ve shared bathrooms and most of my childhood memories with. We’re far from the family you’d find on NBC’s Parenthood. The idea of all of us living a car ride away from one another and constantly being involved in one another’s drama will never be a reality we face, but we’re not strangers who forget birthdays and who would only come together after of a tragic event only to discover some deep dark secret that rocks our roots. Okay, that’s a far stretch because life is not a soap opera but you get the point? When it comes to being close to my family, the ones I consider the core of it, I’d say our closeness isn’t any sort of extreme – but just right for the type of people we are.

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