Monday, January 19, 2009

Jai Ho

I saw Slumdog Millionaire on Saturday. Honestly, probably the best movie I've seen. At least in several years. I've been playing the soundtrack on repeat.

I'm heading back to school early tomorrow morning. I really feel that this break, as boring and somewhat difficult as it has been, has really helped to renew me. I finally feel ready to get started on what is the last leg of this section of my life's journey. I'm so glad that I can say that.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My family is large and complicated and weird and global (nationalities, not locations, for the most part we all live within a ten mile radius of each other).

The easiest way to start is this: my mother is one of five children. She has three brothers and one sister, therefore I have four aunts and four uncles (seeing as severyone is married). One set lives in KC, but the others live in Saint Charles, or a surrounding county.

My uncle (mother's brother) and aunt in KC have four children, two girls and two boys, each roughly a year apart. The girls are biological and both of the boys were adopted from Columbia at different times and from different cities.

My other uncle (mother's brother) who lives the closest to us have five adopted children, three boys and two girls. The oldest boy is from the states, but I'm pretty sure he is Vietnamese. The next oldest boy is from Korea. The middle child, also a boy is from the US. The two girls are the youngest (but just a few months apart in age) and are from the US as well. The three youngest children are African American.

My other other uncle (mother's final brother) lives a little further away, approximately 10 miles. He has four children, all his own, three boys and a girl.

My aunt (mother's sister, pretty much my second mother) adopted a baby in the summer of 07. He is from Florida, but his father was Lebanese and I think his mother was half Hispanic.

Then there is my mother's little chunk. So really there is just me and my mother. But, I have a half sister, same father, different mothers. She is married to a wonderful and patient man and they have two beautiful children. Their daughter (my niece) is three and their son (my godson and nephew) is about 10 months. She has a real life and is only 27.

These are only my first cousins, etc. It only gets crazier the further out you get. But, quite a few of them still live in town. And seeing as my maternal grandparents' families were some of the original folks in our area, I'm [somewhat distantly] related to nearly everyone in St. Charles City.

I don't know why I'm sharing all of this. I think my family is loud and corny and funny and lame and weird all at the same time. I really like it. I find it strange that although our family is this large and so close to one another that we are not actually all friends. We don't have traditions as a family. The cousins don't have stories to share like our parents do, of family gatherings. I wish we had more traditions. In my old age I'm starting to wish some things were more traditional, I want to have roots and know what they are. I mean, we have a more distant relative working on this massive genealogy thing and our family is all traced to Piencenza (I think that may be spelled wrong), a town in Northern Italy, but it doesn't seem to matter to anyone.

I think I started thinking about this when one of my cousins and I had an actual conversation at our Christmas gathering. It was our first one and I really liked it. Then my mom and I ran into him at the grocery store and we had another. Then I thought, hey I should hang out with him sometime. So, I went to ask him on facebook if he would like to get together sometime but I almost didn't send it because I thought that would be weird. And it bothered me that I had to hesitate about it. I mean, we're family, shouldn't it be second nature that we spend time together? I eventually did and we are going to get together in the near future and I'm glad. I'm actually really excited. I just feel like this is how it's supposed to be with family, but I was bothered by my immediate hesitation.

The point is that I'm glad to spend more time with my complicated family.