Sunday, June 15, 2014

Family Means Sharing

I have three younger siblings. Before our family split, that meant our parents got to put up with four sick kids at the same time whenever one of us brought something home with us. Naturally, that meant four miserable little voices, four cranky attitudes, and when chicken pox came around, four itchy sets of skin.

I don't know how they did it, but we all managed to get through it.

Now that I'm married, my husband and I share each other's germs, too, regardless of how careful we are. Hopefully, the cold he shared with me will pass quickly.
My dad and I share an interest in photography, and my Opa
used to play piano for us when we were little.
Public Domain photo by Nicola Parantoni

It's funny how the concept of sharing changes as we get older. I'm sure if we were all still living under the same roof, we'd share infection, but now, we share information more than microorganisms. We chat on the phone, send articles over the internet and, not often enough, converse in person.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in America, it's Father's Day. These family appreciation days have always been a little touch and go for me.

Parent-child relationships are always complicated. Some are lucky to share a bond of deep tenderness, while others suffer from things like distance or the aftermath of abuse, and everything in between. Regardless, those days highlight the complicated myriad of relationships parents and children share.

One of the benefits of being a child of divorce is the opportunity to have twice as many parents as those who are children of lasting marriages. I once had two moms and two dads. Now that I'm married, I have three moms and three dads.

I guess my Oma and Opa count, too, as they helped my mom provide us with a warm home, food and clothing in the years immediately after the split. So, bump that current number up to four of each.

That's a lot of parents. That's also a lot of love.

Despite the trials and traumas of my youth, I always knew I was loved. Even if I could only feel sadness, hopelessness or self loathing in my heart, my mind still held the fact of that love firmly in place. That silent knowledge helped to keep me going through long periods of profound depression.

I share that love with them. That's the funny thing about affection. There doesn't have to be a finite amount. As it's shared, it continues to grow and spread. Love is like infection, but usually without the leaky facial orifices, sore throat and general fatigue.

For that, I thank my big, complicated, quirky, sometimes dysfunctional, wonderful family. You have my love and gratitude, moms and dads.


  1. Good attitude, Emilie! Hope you are feeling better.


    1. Thank you!

      This bug seems to be one of those week long deals, so I've got a while to go yet.


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