looking through me

Category: 31 Days: Family

done, already?

Has it been a month already?

Here’s the thing. I don’t write to be read. I don’t write because I have something to say. I write to find myself.

And while I thought I already knew my family—and I did—maybe I didn’t. I knew my story. Yes. I knew there were themes running deeply through me. I knew there were truths that crafted me. But I hadn’t written them. My knowing remained partial at best.

This challenge stretched me in interesting ways. It gave me a chance to think about my family through different filters. And in an effort to write about private people in a public forum, I had the gift of thinking more in roles and presences and moments than in names and images.

These 31 posts are not all-inclusive. They are not comprehensive. They barely scratch the surface. They leave more unwritten than is written.

This month was about more than the discipline of writing; it was about the discipline of thinking. I’m a context person. I don’t understand concepts well in isolation. And to know me, I need my family—my context.

All I write is written from my seat at the family table. The faces around the table change—we’re a dynamic collection some born in, some brought in—but I’m grateful for each one. And I’m grateful for this chance to know us better.

 


This post is part of the 31 Days: Family series. Read the beginning, and see a full index of posts, here.

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Sometimes as a child I felt like the odd-man out: Mom and Dad had each other; the eldest and the middle had each other. As the third child, and only girl, did I fit?

Of course I did. These were my people. Irreplaceable. They were mine and I was theirs. It’s still true.

But family isn’t a stagnate word.

Certain people surpass the standard definition of friend. They’re the ones I can call at any time, day or night. They’re the ones who can read between the lines of an email or interpret my silence. They’re the ones who show up uninvited because they hear what I say, but they know what I mean. They’re like family.

I’ve collected them along the way. Not one of them would I have pegged as a future family member the moment I met them. They know me in different capacities than my family does. We share a history that crosses the one I share with my family but runs different roads as well. They don’t have to love me, but they do.

And they see my family in ways I cannot. They see the parts I take for granted and point out how special those bonds are. They’re drawn to qualities I didn’t realize aren’t inherent in every family.

They don’t replace my family. They augment it. They remind me I fit.

 


This post is part of the 31 Days: Family series. Read the beginning, and see a full index of posts, here.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.