Reuniting our nuclear family was the reason for the July 4th trip. But having my children in Los Angeles meant sharing them. Because a family snapshot captures only the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more hidden beneath the surface, as any passenger on the Titanic could testify.
Plus the concept of family has deepened. Most of us are part of more than one family. Take mine. (yes I get the joke)
There’s my original family—both a paternal and maternal side. If I had remained unattached for my entire life, then my family tree would consist of only two branches–freeing me from the extra twigs that might scratch me—but also probably causing me to miss out on the delicious fruit. ( I’m not sure this metaphor of a tree will hold up … so I am going to chop it off right now. Although I reserve the right to pick it up again or to switch over to a new metaphor if I find one that works better.)
Once you marry, you add the family which belongs to your spouse. In my case, two additional families. (I’m thinking, maybe a train metaphor? Attaching additional cars?) Depending on how things go, you could be attached to this other family for life. Which is one of the best parts of my divorce.
Because I got to keep H’s family for life. And I could not imagine my life without them in it.
So my 48 hour trip to LA included dinner at my former sister in law’s. Worthy of a blog post in itself, but I’m not getting off the train yet.
The latest train car hitched up is also based in the LA area: the family of my daughter’s husband. I’m about to step out on a limb here ( back to the tree again), suspend the initials, and use real names.
The union of these two families is relatively high on my list of things I never signed up for. Mostly because Alli’s husband is A—a soldier. And B—a Christian.
Did I mention that I’m Jewish? That I’m a liberal? That I’m a Vietnam era peace advocate with a historical mistrust for anything military? Need I say more?
Even knowing there is a happy ending, this is fertile fodder for blogging. Fodder that could feed an entire weblog in itself. But right now it’s just the caboose.
The definition of what makes a family—something I assumed I understood—has been revised, at least for me. Stay tuned.