Being here is fun.
Dad cracks jokes. We all tease each other and laugh out loud a lot. We communicate what we are trying to get our minds around in this great but small world of ours. We talk about food and movies and art and politics and economics and sustainability and religion and faith. They talk about sport. We fumble over our words, but fill in the gaps naturally – as we all think alike. It doesn’t matter if your words don’t match up to your thoughts. Family is the place to spill these things out. Refine ideas. Practice speaking. There is no safer place and no better place to crash a little and laugh at yourself. Love is all around.
As I listen to them I see myself at that age: passionate, questioning, struggling to come to terms with a world that is not what was expected. And it’s a journey that is all your own. It must come from within. We each must learn our own ways of dealing with life, ways that are unique to each of us.
We sit together in front of the blazing fire which filled the winters of my youth. The fire we cooked fish soup on once, baked apples in tin-foil many times, slow-cooked marshmallows and sometimes crispy fried them in blue flames. They are the younger three and there was some sort of divide growing up. The three eldest stumbled through study, travel, career choices, moving out, relationships, children. We married around the same time, we all have children. I think that these younger ones have learned from us. They saw us blunderbuss our way through our young twenties. They saw us having kids young and, naturally, they have turned their hands to other things. They have learned from our fashion errors. They each dress very well.
The three youngest are comfy here. It’s like a different home. It’s pretty relaxed. Confident, intelligent, attractive, gloriously refreshing. They’re all adults now. I really like them. They are great people. They are fun to be with. I’m really treasuring this time.
It’s not always you can enjoy your original family again when you have begun your own. It’s nice to put the kids to bed each night and have some of the best ‘adult’ conversation you can get on tap – conversation with family, people so connected to you – it’s in the blood.
I’m a lucky girl and I know it.
(I think I’ve finished my essay now. Just some reviewing to do. Time to study for exams! I am loving this study thing. One subject is just enough. I could not do more without regretting the time spent away from my children. As it is I can easily work this in around them with very few babysitting engagements. An important value for me.)