Friday, December 10, 2010

Relationships and traditions

Since I said that I was going to be coming back to posting, I have been trying to come up with a topic. Something that I really felt like writing about. But I was coming up empty and it scared me. Scared me that maybe I had lost the knack for writing. But then today, while watching a show online, a topic came to me. Relationships.

Not just any relationships. My kids' relationships. With each other. Now and in the future. Wow, now there's a lot of sentence fragments. But you know what? It's my blog and I'll use sentence fragments if I want to. I talk in fragments too, so just pretend that you are listening to me instead of reading my words.

So for the background information...two kids stayed home sick today. Punky and Boo both were home sick from school today. It doesn't affect me much because I sleep during the day. The only part of it that actually affects me is whether Hubby is being attentive to them and the noise level that they create. Then, when I woke up early this afternoon (much earlier than I needed to or should have - will have to sleep some more later) I decided to check my voice mail messages, since I saw that I had missed a call from the older boys' school.

It was the health tech. NattyNu threw up at school and they had wanted us to come pick him up. They called my phone and got my voice mail. They called Hubbys's number, but it was his old number that I didn't realize had not been updated yet. Then they called my mother-in-law, who gave them Hubby's number. But Hubby had misplaced his phone (it's under the recliner that I'm currently sitting in, but I'm too lazy to retrieve it at the moment) and left a message on his voice mail. Then they called my mother-in-law back and she went and picked Natty up from school. I found all of this out from the tech at the school, then went up to let Hubby know that Natty was at Grandma's house and he should get in touch with her or go pick Natty up or something.

He left to go pick up Natty and then ended up staying over there so that Natty, Punky and Boo could all nap. None of them are feeling well and they all need the extra rest. I was here at home and couldn't sleep, so I decided to catch up on a couple of shows that I watch online but haven't had the chance to since we didn't have internet at home. One of the shows was a Thanksgiving episode. That's how far behind I have been on my shows, which as you might be able to guess means that they aren't that high of a priority to me. I enjoy watching them, but I don't feel that I have to watch them right away and the world will crumble to pieces if I miss an episode.

Anyhow, that is a complete side note about television. Back to the story at hand, I was watching the show "Parenthood". It is a show about a couple who have four grown children with families of their own, and basically the day to day things that happen with this family.  They are actually a close knit clan and the cousins are friends as well.  Anyhow, it got me to thinking this afternoon about my children.

I wonder what it will be like, twenty or thirty years from now, when they have their own children.  Will my children be friends?  Will my grandchildren?  Will they all stay close to "home" to raise their own families or will they fly the nest?  Will they be more attached to our family or to their spouse's family?  I mean, I know what I would like to see happening in thirty years.

My desire is that they would each have started their own families.  That they are all married and happy and have children of their own.  Married and with children are not requirements, but just as this is my blog and I'll use sentence fragments if I want, this is also my dream and I can make them all happily married with children if I want.  There's nothing wrong with wanting that for your children, now is there?  Nope, I didn't think so either.

Back to the dream for my kids... So they will all have their spouses and children, and they will live reasonably close to "home" and they will talk to each other and love each other and want to share their lives with each other (and with Hubby and me as well).  And their children will play together and be friends and will develop wonderful relationships with one another.  They will all come over to our home for a holiday (even if it is not on the actual holiday) and we will have family traditions set up that they each cherish as well and want to continue and will feel like the holiday is not quite complete without it.  It will be something that they want their children to experience and enjoy and share as well.

And now that I have really thought about what I'd like to see happen in the future and have a goal in mind, I have decided that it's time to put that into action now.  Take the steps to make that happen.  I just don't know how to really foster strong relationships between them.  I didn't have a sibling until I was twelve.  My closest thing to a sibling was my best friend, Nick.  We have been friends since we were two.  We're both 29.  We have known each other longer than we have known even some of our own family members.

This is a picture that he took with his phone one night recently when we were hanging out together and having deep, meaningful conversations over (cough, ahem) mixed drinks.  But regardless, I want my children to have the kind of relationship with each other that Nick and I have now.  Only I want them to actually spend more time together than Nick and I do.

But it is really being impressed on my heart to help the kids build that kind of relationship with each other right now.  So now I am thinking of ways to do that.  Or at least trying to think of ways to do that.  Punky and Boo already have that kind of relationship.  They are the best of friends (and the worst of enemies when they want to be, which thankfully is not often).  JoNo and Natty are developing that as well.  They often play together and they share many friends, in spite of having a gap of three years between them.  And when their friends are not available to play, they willingly play with each other.  That's a good basis, correct?  I'm sure hoping so!  And Natty also has a good, albeit different relationship with Punky and Boo.  JoNo and Punky have a pretty good relationship going as well.  They get along and fight about even amounts, but that is where JoNo and Natty were before as well.  And they are different genders and they have that same three year age gap between them also, so I am hoping that their friendship will come with time, just as Natty and JoNo's did.  JoNo also seems to get along well with Boo.  They enjoy playing with the same toys and watching the same movies and doing many of the same things.  So I think they are well on their way also.

Maybe that is it?  Maybe I just sit back and let their friendships among each other develop naturally?  Maybe just provide them the opportunities to build those relationships with each other.  Say no to some of the outside activities that really draws our family apart from each other and say yes to the activities that draw us closer together?  Just as we have been doing for quite some time.

And maybe at the same time, throw in some family traditions that we have every year that we all look forward to.  The one tradition that we had that we did EVERY single year from the year before we were married (in 2000) until this year (2010) was our "Friends Thanksgiving".  Every year, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we would have friends over for a full all-out Thanksgiving dinner.  The kind of meal that I had growing up with tons of side dishes and everything.  We didn't do it this year because I had to work overnight that Tuesday and Wednesday both. :(  But maybe that's part of what is causing me to think about this - the lack of one of our traditions.  I would definitely like to start new traditions with the kids as well.  For instance - with Christmas presents, like I mentioned in yesterday's post.  I'm also interested in doing a Jesse Tree project each year as we gear up for Christmas.  I had forgotten all about it.  I heard of it last year and thought about it for this year, but then forgot about it this year until I saw Michelle's blog the other day.  And it was a great reminder of something that I want to do with my kids.  I'd really like to start a meaningful tradition to go along with every major holiday that we celebrate and put our own spin on it too.

But it's time to grab a quick rest before I go back in to work tonight.  I'm exhausted and I still have 3 hours of driving, 8 hours of working and 1 hour of an in-service ahead of me yet.  *yawn*  So tired!

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