I always believed I was exceptionally ordinary and in a lot of ways I really am very normal. But I spent Christmas completely out of my comfort zone. I spent it with my future husband and his family. As it turns out there were actually a lot of my second cousins at this Christmas lunch but that’s a story for a different time. I grew up an only child and here I was with JS and his brother and we were doing sibling-like stuff and it was all brand new to me! Their mother and father treated me like their daughter and like we were still little kids covered under their protective watch. It was so relaxing: to just be there without having to be responsible for anything or even play referee and peace maker. It reminded me of a time (when I was about 3 or 4 years old) and I could sit on my dad’s shoulders and playing with my mom’s rings in church. A time when I felt safe. A time when my biggest worry was whether to put the catch-up next to or on my fries… This all seems rather silly but it’s like I’ve managed to be the adult in my relationship with my parents for so long that I honestly have no idea how to rely on them anymore… I’m always on guard around my mother and even my aunts and other relatives because I know it’s only a matter of time before they’ll need a level head to sort their little disputes and somehow, that level head has become me. The cherry on the cake was the cooler box. When we were leaving after spending the week there, they packed this cooler box full of fresh fruit and vegetables out of their garden and milk and meat from the farm and I actually stood there with my mouth open. I remember my grandmother doing the same thing for my uncle when he was still in college but my dad didn’t believe in that. My dad believed that parents raise you and give you everything they can until you finish school and then it’s your turn to start taking care of them. So when we went to visit my grandparents, we always took meat and chips and drinks and whatever along. We’d use most of it while we were staying there but at least it’s the thought that counts. So seeing them give JS this cooler box was the single most amazing thing I’ve seen all year! I know that you probably won’t see this as significant at all but to me it was huge! To have your parents still take care of you and show you this kind of love was something I had completely forgotten. Don’t get me wrong, my parents gave me everything I could ever have wanted and I know they loved me, I just haven’t experienced it in a while. My dad died 4 years ago so he never really had the opportunity to hand me a cooler box and shortly after, I moved to London which made the whole concept irrelevant since my mother was still in South Africa. I don’t really know how to explain it but it feels like I’ve lost touch with my mother, even though we Skype and call all the time… ok, maybe not all the time, more like once a week. My point is just that this simple thing that is so normal to this family that they don’t even notice it anymore has had me longing for simpler times for two weeks now… My mother will never give me a cooler box full of food: firstly because we don’t live in the same country and secondly because I won’t let her. I am the one who’ll send her a care package and make sure she doesn’t need anything, not the other way round. That might not be exactly normal for a 23 year old but I’m sure it’s not that uncommon either. And then there’s the matter of my mother’s boyfriend. That is such a weird phrase: my mother’s boyfriend. When did that become normal? When did family dynamics start changing? How did I get from Mom, Dad and me to Mom and her boyfriend and his son and his girlfriend and his mother? How did normal change definition without me even noticing? I just thought I’d share these questions that have been crossing my mind over the last few days with the rest of you. Maybe you’ve been wondering the same thing? Maybe normal really is relative or rather: irrelevant. Maybe I should stop focusing on what I’ll never have and just enjoy the many blessings I do have… Just a thought, AM


1 Comment »

  1. PXStevey Said:

    Hi, I’m new I would like to welcome all… 🙂

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