Get What You Give

 Here we are.  The end of another weekend and the beginning of the Christmas frenzy.  Our Christmas officially started last night with a trip to the in-laws.  It is always an awkward experience to say the very least and last night did not disappoint.  As previously mentioned, we have family whom we are close to and we have those we see only at events which are created merely out of obligation.  Don't get me wrong, we love these people but we don't really know them. At all.  How is that possible?  We live fifteen minutes away from each other, and one of them played a significant role  in raising my husband.  Yet, we rarely speak, or see each other unless it is at one of the obligatory functions. It makes me sad to think that, at one point, there was a closeness between my husband and his father. A closeness which has been completely lost.  Squandered even. So, how does this happen?   I don't have a complete answer for this, but I think it boils down to interest.

John and I happened to have a conversation just the other day about Gavin and how emotional he has been of late.  ( If you have dealt with a pre-teen, you understand my pain).  We were trying to work out what was going on with him, when it occurred to me.  At the age of eleven, when you are  hormonal and acting crazy, all you want from your parents is to know they hear you. To know you have a voice and what you say matters.  For your parents to show interest in what you are doing, and most importantly, who you are. In my opinion, this never really goes away.

As adults, I know John and I have wanted to have that same connection with our parents.  It would be incredible to go to one of these things and not have someone ask "What have you been up to?"  because they already knew.   Because they already had a vested interest in what we we are doing and know us well enough to not gift us purple towels because we are "funky".  I would also love for John's grandmother to learn how to spell my name. (she only misspelled it last night.  At our wedding nearly eight years ago, I was Linda.  I guess there have been some improvements)

As much as these things bother me, they mostly make me grateful.  I am thankful to feel connected to my husband and my sons.  I know John will never take his relationship with the boys for granted.  Things are not always perfect at our house.  We definitely make our share of mistakes. But we will ALWAYS do our very best to make sure the boys know we care about what they are doing and feel comfortable in their own skin. I look forward to the future. To having our family grow and trying to appreciate all the moments along the way. Here's to an amazing Holiday, and an even better New Year!

* Photo by the talented and awesome John Hartman
Bird and Cleaver