The Joy of Crazy Families

Summer with family

My family, like most families, has it’s share of crazy. We’re pretty nutty by conventional standards. We like to call it humanness.

My father is a big kid who likes to camp out under the stars in his truck. My mother and stepfather are wood-dwelling qi field makers who love talking about the true self. I have two step brothers who I wish I had closer relationships with, but intention doesn’t seem to translate into action for any of us. I have a large extended family on my father’s side, a tribe who used to gather together on December 25 each year until all the cousins grew up and lost interest in Santa. On my mother’s side, there is only a half-uncle and his family. They live overseas and correspondence is infrequent. My stepfather’s family exists in their own little bubble. And then there is my boyfriend, whose family is a little weary of me and my strange ways. I am simply of a different ilk.

So when the season of family is upon us, my boyfriend and I part ways. I go South, and he goes farther South. I spend the majority of my time in the woods with my mother and stepfather, curled up by the fire if it’s raining (as it’s apt to do there during summer) or sprawled in the long grass if the sunshine manages to escape the clouds. And usually it only takes a day or so for shit to get real.

By this, I mean honesty is demanded, issues are confronted, imperfections are celebrated, shadows are liberated, and love is the answer to every question. See, this is one of the things that makes my family different. Words like “self-awareness”, “inner voice”, “empowerment” are part of every day conversation. When I come home to the ranch, thoughts and feelings (the mad and the sane) get laid out on the table along with the turkey and trifle. It’s all a bit intense really, but like a 10 day holistic health retreat, I always leave with a clearer head, lighter shoulders and a smile that glows from the inside.

With all the demands, expectations, obligations, and tensions that exist in families, that we create for ourselves and others create for us or vice versa (particularly at this time of year), it’s kind of a relief to just let the crazy be crazy. Why pretend to be normal, when no one is? So if you – like me – found yourself crying this Christmas, or sulking, or whining, or screaming (or all of the above) and are beating yourself up for not having it more together, then cut yourself some slack. You’re just human. So is Uncle Bob.

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