On the last day our Oldest was in town for Christmas, I took her and her sister out for lunch to our favorite Mediterranean place. Their brother was out of town for the day, but he’d promised to get home in time to say goodbye to his sister and come to the airport with us.
As we three girls sat there, laughing and stuffing our faces with baba ganoush, hummus, and dolmas, it occurred to one of us that The Boy hadn’t headed for home yet, and there was no chance he was going to get back in time.
So we texted him, had a quick FaceTime chat at the table (which he recognized, enviously and immediately, as one of his favorite places to eat), and good-byes were shared that way.
And it suddenly hit me: this is why I absolutely adore my nuclear family.
We care about each other. We know we genuinely like as well as love each other. We love spending time together. We know each other’s shortcomings and make allowances. And we don’t freak out over unfortunate mishaps like not getting home in time to say goodbye.
I know SOOOOO many people – SOOOOO many families – for whom this type of brain fart on the part of one family member would have ended up like World War III. Hurt feelings, cold shoulders, back stabbing, and triangulation.
And then I realized there are certain members of my extended family who actually do embroil themselves in that kind of petty-ness. I’ve actually severed ties with a couple of those family members, and felt ensuing guilt. There are others I’ve just distanced myself from a bit over the years, to step away from that kind of ridiculous drama. Again, a bit of guilt there.
The family members and friends I’ve kept close to are the ones who don’t engage in that kind of bullshit. The ones who realize that love and friendship are much more important than mistakes, accidents, and occasional stupidity.
Just a bit more navel-gazing on this subject…I also realized that it’s my own mom who has perfected the art of “don’t sweat the small stuff.” I’ve learned that vital life lesson from her.
And that is one hell of an awesome legacy.