Tuesday 24 June 2008

Vignettes from a Wedding: Family from Afar

(That's a picture that I snuck of my Auntie Jan teaching Safiya how to play baseball. They had a great time together....)

There are many variations on the how-much-help spectrum that any parent gets, from single mother isolated to kids with more than one mom or dad or both, plus all the extended family. Mr. S. and I both have very supportive families, it's just that they're supportive from afar: they're all in another part of the province or country. And when this is what you know, it's o.k., you figure out a way, and in many ways it's great because when Safiya was born, Mr. S. and I had to figure out very quickly how we were going to do this, mostly by ourselves (the whole babysitter thing, which is something we've never done, is an entirely different matter).

And then this weekend happened. We shared a house with my Mom and my aunts and uncles. I think Mr. S.'s exact words were: "This isn't parenting. Heck, if it was like this all the time, I'd have four kids!"

His point being, I think, that there is the physical aspect of family life that is impossible to escape (and I think there's something a little wrong with wanting to, because it's also one of the most blessed things about family life). Everybody only has so many hands to carry things or play, mouths to tell stories, backs for piggy-back, ears to hear, brains to think. So, the more the merrier, as it were.

And it was pretty merry. My aunts, especially, have that inclination towards laughter and silliness that is infectious. I loved being around them as a kid, and I saw that same happiness in Safiya's eyes this weekend.

Now, how do we get them to move, with their entire families, to Toronto? Think, think.....

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