Family week continues

Even though my husband's family all live abroad (or, well, we live abroad in their eyes, since all 4 generations live in a 2-mile radius) we see them more than we see my family, except my Dad - who is pictured to the right. My family, on the other hand, is spread out throughout the US with central New York as home base.

None the less, I love to see my family so this is a very special week for me. Last Sunday my brother came for a visit, today my Aunt will be here with her new husband. On Thursday I met my cousin's son for the first time, even though he is almost 30.

I saw a lot of similarities to everyone else in my family. DC is clearly intelligent. His Dad, and his grandfather both have larger-than-life scientific brains, and DC seems to have got a cut of those genes. Like most of the family (I'm the exception that proves the rule) he is tall, though not in the top 5, but his greenish eyes must come from his mother. He also has been spared Poppy's (my Mom's Dad) curls. I got a double shot of those! While a lot of the family got artistic talents (not me unless art appreciation is a talent) he seems to be an avid mountain biker - which takes a certain talent too.

But there were other similarities that sometimes run in the family. While I have blogged several times about my successful relatives with very cool jobs (RC is my cousin), there are a few of us who are may be described as professional "diamonds in the rough". At 27, DC is trying to find what he wants to be when he grows up - and since at 40 and still rather clueless on this front, it was hypocritical, but well-meant, when I advised him to finish his degree and not to worry about his major. Apparently he has changed course a few times. I've also gone down the "what do I want to be when I grow up" rabbit hole repeatedly. Let's be honest, I'm still looking for the light!

But the advice worked both ways. He didn't know this, but I also got an inadvertent warning.  DC talked a bit about his mother using terms that could be used about me: overbearing and overprotective. (Maybe every kid feels this when mom repeatedly says no?) I don't think I'm really like his mother. Based on stories, I haven't met her either, we are very different. But his anecdotes came as a reminder that I need to loosen the noose around my kids' necks. Kids know when they need space. I need to let more things go. As he talked about her serious bouts with "empty nest syndrome" pushing her into a new career, I heard my own employment-clock ticking.

And as often happens, as I drove home I remembered things I forgot to say. The one thing I should have conveyed was that it was my Mom's strongest wish that his parents and grandfather (Mom's brother) permanently reconcile. In her final years my Mom started her own peace accords and like every Mid-East diplomat, she had to admit only meager results. Perhaps this visit was a fruit of her efforts as much as it was thanks to a Facebook entry saying "In New Jersey, what should I do?" My response was "meet me for lunch" and so it was.

If my Mom is watching us from heaven (and I'm not sure), I hope she saw me with DC this week sitting at various outdoor cafes in Hoboken, sharing stories and gaining insight into each others' lives.  She would have loved this!

DC - if you are reading this - I promise to scan those and the thousands of other pictures to share with my Arizona family!


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