Family is comprised mostly of people we do not have any say about. Sometimes we have friends who become family, but everyone else is family whether we like it (them) or not. The great thing about family though is that you are not all alike. I feel that when you let differing opinions and interests influence you, the possibilities, learning and fulfilment are endless.
The past few days I was on a trip I probably would never have taken if it wasn’t for a difference in interest and knowledge. We went to a ski-in cabin to spend the night. Five adults, one 2 year old, one 3 year old and 2 babies. We had to cross country ski for about an hour up a slight incline, just beyond the mountainous, beautiful, snow covered and treacherous Columbia Icefield. The first person painstakingly breaking the trail. I opted to not carry B but ended up with a big, but relatively light backpack, pulling a sled full of gear. The 2 kids were in another sled (or pulk), and Grandpa pulled the firewood in the third sled.
My wonderful, gracious and extremely knowledgable sister- and brother-in-law were able to seamlessly lend us skis, organize and book the trip. We went right along, no questions asked. It was pretty amazing, and lots of fun. And never boring with the kids. The babies were by far the best behaved and the least interested in where we were or where we were going.
The kids were not in their best spirits when we finished lunch and finally packed them into the pulk. Probably because it tipped over three or four times before getting to the trail. During the actual trip, thankfully, they were joyous, filling the sled with snow and sometimes singing. By the time we got there, however, they were cold, wet, crying and hungry. I even have video evidence for later :) The afternoon went by quickly with organizing, eating, getting kids and babies changed and fed, then preparing dinner. Nobody slept well, or much, that night but the kids are happy risers and conveniently planned to tantrum at different times throughout the day while we cleaned up the cabin.
A few things about family that came to mind during the much faster and breathtakingly beautiful morning ski back: Be grateful, often and openly; Forgive; Be giving; And, if you cannot bring it up to discuss, work through and/or remedy, Forget about it. I feel that in my own family it’s often similarities that cause rifts. Such as personality traits I myself possess, ie. stubbornness, the “gift” of always being right, etc., among other equally less noble qualities. However, I do not feel these characteristics will cause insurmountable disputes if I follow my previously stated notions.
Family is who we make and share memories with. We reminisce the good, the sad and the hilarious. And I can say that I am very lucky to have a really wonderful family with as many friends I consider to also be (as close as) family.