By Susan Fox
I dreamed of it, I strived for it, the perfect family. But it is ever unattainable. I’ve read books about them, watched movies and television shows about them. I have hoped and prayed that my own family could emulate them. Alas, I am sadly delusional. Where does this perfect family exist? Who are they? I think of the great families that lived in my TV set when I was a kid, The Cleavers, The Walton’s, the Ingalls, the Huxtables, the Flintstones, the Jetson’s, and the Cunningham’s. Even though I have great memories of these families, I find that sadly they too were flawed. June Cleaver cleans her house in high-heels and pearls, really, seriously?? June Jetson never had to cook a real meal, she had some super-duper thawer-microwave of the future, and poor Charles and Caroline Ingalls had to work themselves into exhaustion just to keep food on the family table only to be ridiculed by those nasty Olson’s. The Cunningham’s took in a wayward teen and you don’t think that added stress to a marriage? Well maybe you get the idea. Even they just were not perfect.
I think about all of the total dysfunctionalism of my own disappointing family and it can be downright depressing. But I try to look at the humor in it. Like the Dutch uncle who showed the pictures he had taken on the nude beach in Holland to our church minister who came to dinner one time. There is my Aunt, whose heart is literally on the wrong side of her chest. How about my sister who is my total opposite, and has done things like slept in a San Francisco park to attend the Free Tibet Festival, not that there is anything wrong with that! Just sayin’- total opposite! I’m thinking of the alcoholic uncle who I thought owned a bowling alley when I was a kid. I thought he was so cool…turns out he was not so cool. He was the cook in the snack bar.
I’m just saying that I like you do not have the perfect family. I am relieved that the older I get the more I find out there are a lot more people out there just like me. They have weird families too! I try not to get hung up on it. We are all flawed. The point is to do your best. Love one another despite the flaws. That is what family does. You don’t have to pretend to be perfect, because we all know that we are not.
PS – I forgot to mention the family member who talks to animals, yeah, not just the family dog, but to snakes and birds and…..Weird, I’m talking weird!!!
The Family: We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck
Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.