Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Family Vacation

A family unit is a strange and wonderous organism. We don't get to choose our families, but they are ours. My experience of growing up in my family was sweet, fun and comforting for me. I had the confidence stability and love brings and always felt surrounded by luck and good fortune. I was only 13 or 14 when my sister left for college and my brother was off the following year. Neither of them ever returned to live with us, not even for the summers. My sister got married right out of school and my brother went onto Law School in D.C. then to jobs in L.A. It was and really has been, just me and my parents for a very long time. We all got together regularly for holidays and special occasions, but that feeling of a family of people surrounding you, was lost to me for sometime. Twenty-odd years later, enter Jeff. One of four siblings and New York based parents, my life now feels filled with a plethora of new family members. There are lots of children and cousins abound and they love to get together and have a good time while they are at it.

One truly amazing by-product of my union with Jeff is that our parents have become very fond of one-another. They are all about the same age, love NYC and are cultured, well-read, card-carrying liberal city dwellers. Jeff's Mom and Step-dad Jonfer live at 180 Riverside Blvd. overlooking the Hudson and my parents live at 180 East End Avenue overlooking the East River. They are a perfect compliment to eachother. Phoebe is so very lucky to have two sets of grandfolks in New York and I feel nothing but gratitude to have them all nearby.

So what a pleasure it was to spend July 4th week up at our place in Vermont with Lynn, John, Jeff, Michael and my parents. It rained all week. I was down with various stomach aliments, and yet, it was all good. I had so many hands on deck to help while I was feeling ridiculously ill. My man stepped up, as he always does, and took Phoebe off my hands on more than one occasion. I was surrounded by family. It is certainly a different kind of family than I grew up with, and it's nothing like what I might have expected to find when I got to adulthood, but it is a beautiful surprise. We may have been there celebrating Independence Day, but it is our dependance on one another that really marked the holiday for me.

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