This week I’ve mostly been learning that family is about more than mother, father, sister, brother and that in order to stop myself from drowning in self pity at my somewhat unusual family life I need to remind myself of this at regular intervals.
I love my family to death and would do anything for them, however we aren’t The Waltons. Never have been and never will be and sometimes this makes me very sad indeed. It’s not that I want to all live together in one big house, eating every meal round the same table and shouting our goodnights to one another, but I would like to feel a little bit more like a ‘proper family’. I’m not sure if it is because Dad was away most of the time when I was growing up that I am left craving a more indepth relationship, perhaps I feel cheated. Whatever it is, I just wish that my darling Dad could be more like a stereotypical TV Dad – I wish my Dad was Steve Martin in Father of the Bride.
Actually no, I don’t wish for my Dad to be anyone other than himself but I just wish that he could let his soft silly side out a bit more. I know it’s in there – the times it comes out make me want to do a dance with glee. It’s just a shame that 36 years of naval life has given him a permanent stiff upper lip. One of my most precious memories as an adult is calling my Dad and asking if he was okay, his response ‘Of course I’m okay, I’m speaking to you’ will be etched on my brain forever – one of those moments I wish there were more of. However I suppose the pure fact that they are scarse mean that they are even more important and precious to me than if he dished them out willy nilly.
Knowing myself as well as I do I’m aware that if I did have a TV style family I’d be complaining about that too, whinging that my family were overwhelming and overbearing. I’ve had friends whose families would actually drive me mental with their suffocation and smothering so perhaps I should be happy with my lot. Maybe I feel deprived of a proper motherly input in my life and thus am looking to my Dad to become some Mother/Father hybrid? Mostly I like the fact that we don’t live in each others pockets however sometimes it just gets me down. With a birthday fast approaching moving me ever closer to the big 3-0, it just feels pathetic to be wanting to say that actually all I want for my birthday is a card from my Dad. He is exceptionally generous and I am eternally grateful for everything he has ever given me but they always say, it’s the little things that count.
As I said previously though, family isn’t just about blood relatives. Family is people who care, people who look out for you and who take the time out of their day to let you know that they miss you.