Monday, April 27, 2009


Woke up the other morning thinking about how, as we age, not only do we lose flexibility in our joints, but also in our attitudes, and in our ability or willingness to adapt to the needs of the group. In a way that's good, because you can't go through your entire life being a doormat for everyone around you. On the other hand, our family get-togethers are really starting to suck.

My sisters and I used to love going on a T.A.I.R. - Thomas Annual Inspirational Retreat. We have a younger brother too, whom we all worship and adore, but believe me when I tell you that he was quite grateful to be left out of these excursions. They were our version of the girl's getaway, and were such a blast in our younger days. Then gradually, over the years, they became less and less fun, as we became less and less agreeable. Two of us like antiquing, the other doesn't. The two of them love outlet malls, I hate them. I am crazy about gardening stuff, but they want nothing to do with it, etc. Eventually it got to the point where we couldn't even agree on a place to go, much less what we would do after we arrived.

Some might see this as a sad development - something that needs to be rectified. I see it as the natural course of things. Our family has grown over the years. We have each married, had kids, the kids have grown up, some of them are married. Of course it is more difficult to get everyone to agree on something! Then there is the fact that we used to be one small family, circled around the nucleus that was my parents. Now that one of them is gone, and the other probably wont be around too much longer, we are going through something akin to cell division - dividing into four new familial pods, with those of us who were once the children, now becoming the nuclei.

The gradual distancing that my siblings and I have undergone over the years was probably a natural defense mechanism, set in place to make this division process less painful. It happened to our parents and their siblings, once our grandparents were gone, and I'm sure it will happen again when we are gone. It's only natural. But, still... I can't help feeling a little sad when I look back at the photos of some of our escapades, especially those taken on our very first T.A.I.R. - the one in San Antonio, where we are wearing those silly sombreros and those happy, happy smiles...

By the way, you did realize that we stuffed those waders we are wearing in the last photo with pillows, right?

1 comment:

Polly said...

Becky, I can definitely relate. My 3 sibs and I, 2 brothers and 1 sister, have always been close. Over the years our various spouses have learned not to even try to follow a conversation between the 4 of us - too fast and funny, with so many *You just had to be there* references. But more and more, I find myself on the outside looking in, and I don't know what to do.