What does family mean to you? I grew up with the idea of happy families impressed in my mind and feel lucky and privileged that we are a close unit. I don’t know if my parents set out to create a family life and childhood for us that was loving and memorable or if it was something that was inherently natural to them. My parents impress me every day and more so now that I have a child of my own. They have a relationship that is ever lasting and beautiful to watch. They understand each other as though they are one person and love and support each other in a way that only best friends can. I admire them and I thank them for giving me a solid and beautiful idea of what family life should be.
I have one sister and one brother. Both are older than me. My sister by seven years and my brother by two and a half. I would be lost without them. Our childhood was filled with games, fights, fun and laughter. I was the pincher. Pinching my brother if we got caught up in an argument. I was the blamer. Blaming everything on my brother and sister because I was the never innocent youngest sibling. I was the stealer. Knicking my sisters tweezers and trying on her clothes when she was out.
Now that we’re all in our prime in adulthood, I like to think that we’re closer than ever. We are no longer kids trying to understand this world and how to find our place in it. We’re there, smack in the middle of life. We’re living it.
On Friday, you may remember, I was feeling a little under pressure. The weeks had caught up on me as I struggled to make my way through work life, home life and blog life. We all have hard days, awkward weeks and sometimes we struggle to see the crisp, clean moments that lay ahead that will get us out of that rut. For me, last weekend rejuvenated, refreshed and invigorated me. The wet weather forecasted didn’t appear and the unplanned days turned into special moments. It wasnt’t the fact it was the weekend or that the long arduous week that got me down was over. It was my beautiful family that pulled me out of the crevice and freed my foot to help me stride with pride again.
On Friday, A and I visited my parents for some well needed hugs and chats. Life can get complicated and busy. We can miss each other even though we may be there together. I’ll admit that lately, I’m not always in the moment as my head is zipping in and around a million thoughts and places. Friday, I shut the rest of the world out and enjoyed every second of being with my parents.
A helped Nanny make an omelette which, of course, she refused to eat herself. We lingered over a long lunch, only getting home in time to help B make dinner as he arrived home from work just moments after we wandered in the door. My Mum and Dad have always given their children and their grandchildren their full undivided attention. They know us inside and out, better than we know ourselves because they have watched us closely grow into the people we are.
Saturday was a beautiful day. An unplanned day, that planned itself well without me even knowing it. B treated us to lunch in a restaurant we’ve admired for a while. I have a feeling B reads my blog! After last week’s post cribbing about how I feel like we have no money and that the once ordinary treats have all but disappeared, he surprises me with the idea of a long leisurely lunch with my beautiful family. We had a lovely lunch, with chats with A, who is always so well behaved in restaurants. A delicious meal and perfect company.
That morning my sister texted me to say that she would be free for a coffee in the afternoon if I was around. My sister has four kids so getting her on her own is almost akin to a miracle. There was no way I was gong to miss this opportunity to have one on one time with my big sister. B dropped me at her house once we were pleasantly full from lunch. After a quick visit by A to her favourite Aunt and her trampoline she was coaxed back into the car so my sister and I had time together. Not long after B and A left, the four kids rolled back home with Daddy. Hugs galore. I adore my nephews and nieces. They are loud and crazy, hilarious and awesome. I was so happy to see them and get my hugs in before we bailed from the house to a coffee shop because lets face it, adult sentences are few and far between in such a busy home! My brother-in-law somehow knows when I’m not myself and feeling the weight of life on my shoulders. As we said “see ya later” to the kids, he hugged me and said “Don’t worry. It’ll be ok.” And he’s right. All I needed was a break. I miss sisterly chats. We shared a room growing up and would chat to each other before falling asleep. Over coffee and a synful strawberry roulade, we shared our dreams, our hopes, our exhaustion and, hey, we threw a bit of gossip in there too.
Sunday became an unintentional gardening day. The lawn was getting to the stage of being a meadow again so B set to work mowing the 1/2 acre we now sometimes curse! Of course, if Papa Bear is outside then we had to be too. A and I grabbed the jumbo chalk and played hopscotch. We brought the babies for a walk in her buggy and strollers. But the best part was picking blackberries from our very own gardenand sitting down to eat them. It was A’s first experience of blackberry picking and she was brilliant… at holding the bowl. There was no way I was letting her anywhere near those briars! As my Dad said, “Blackberries can be one of life’s bug disappointments.” Some were beautifully sweet and others impossibly bitter. A’s first life lesson I thought.
My family have always been close. We have shared laughter, tears, success, failure, sadness and happiness. We have been there for each other through hard times and good times and support each others decisions. We give advice where it’s wanted and a shoulder when it’s needed. I need to remember that. I am not a single unit. My husband and daughter are there for me everyday. My parents are always willing to help me out of a rut. And my brother and sister are my best friends.
Our lives, our love and our laughter is intertwined and always will be thanks to how our parents brought us up to love and respect each other. Thank you Momma and Papa Bear.
I asked in last weeks post, where in amongst the daily life of family, work and commutes, could I find a pause? Turns out, I just had to live and appreciate those pauses that happen naturally in everyday life.