I've recently discovered Les (or RoryBore) at Time Out for Mom (and I've loved reading her blog because she's so much fun). On Tuesdays, she does a little coffee chat with a different topic each week. This week, brought on by the many family reunions she's been to this summer, she wants us to talk about legacies and why family matters.
Let me take a sip of my coffee (Irish Cream flavored creamer, no sugar), then get started with what I wanted to talk about.
I don't remember the last time my family had a reunion. I can't remember ever having one on my dad's side, and my mom's was, (not counting weddings and the like) while Rich and I were still dating. And I can't remember any family reunions for Rich's family, though his immediate family (out to the cousins on his dad's side) get together pretty regularly for other things.
Still, when we know about a wedding or some other special event, we do our best to drive from Tennessee to New Jersey or New York. Because being there to help celebrate (or to help mourn, in the case of funerals) is important. It's important to let your family know that you are there for them, and that you love them.
I'm also hoping to teach them that family doesn't come just through blood. Family is friends too, and they are as important as your blood relatives. Sometimes, they can be even more important. They are the family that you choose. I have some relatives that are technically blood, but I haven't seen them in 25 years or more. I don't know if we'd even have anything in common. But I have friends that I would go to the ends of the earth for, because they mean that much to me. Those friends are just as important as family.
I hope that they learn from me that being different is okay. The other day, Teddy said that two men couldn't get married, and I told him that it's becoming legal in a lot of places (though Tennessee isn't yet so enlightened) and there's nothing wrong with them doing so because they love each other. "But they can't have babies," he returned. So we started talking about adoption. I want my boys to know that the world is a wide, wide place with different views, different ways of doing things and different ways of being. And that's ok. As long as no one is hurting someone else, then different views can be refreshing.
When I pass from this world, I want my boys to automatically think of kindness as their first option when confronted with a problem, to know that there is no such thing as a man's job or a woman's job, and the believe in the inherent goodness in those they meet. I want them to think things through before they do something and to learn how love without reservation.
If I can leave them with these things, I'll consider my job as a mom complete.