Monday, August 03, 2015

Family with a capital F

Driving away from Doe Bay where roughly 35 of Brian's family members (aunties, uncles, cousins) congregated over the past 5 days, my heart and mind are full of Family. Not only thinking of the people that we're saying 'so long' to for now, but also and overwhelmingly about the concept of Family with a capital F.

Over the past 6 months I've been revising my understanding of family. I am part of a family bush.  This has nurtured in me a very flexible, and still profound, sense of family - regardless of bloodline. A step-family is still my Family. The current revision, due to a moment of shock this winter, is that (surprise!) not everybody sees family in that fluid way. I think I understand now that blood ties matter more to some. And following the same logic, it's probably true that there are as many definitions of family as there are people. Like love.

My in-laws have a pretty upright kind of family-tree family. A notably kind, and interesting, and entertaining, and loving family. I feel like I'm part of the tree and the community that comes with it, and have been welcomed in with wide open arms.  And now my kids are part of its bloodline.

My reflections have been evolving as I consider the history that Otis and Russell carry in their DNA. And the stories that will be part of their hearts and minds; those are the pieces of family that also belong to me. While I'm part of the family tree's DNA via Otis & Russell,  I'm also part of this family's stories and heart. And this has become my revised, more nuanced definition of family. Stories and heart course through my family bush as surely as blood.

There are a lot of avenues for exploration and reflection here. Little savory bits for me to chew on as we travel along. It was a wonderful family interlude.

The boys were so happy to be surrounded by willing partners in imagination and play. We stole away some moments of peace and joined in for laughs, adventures and even a dance party. I feel sad to say goodbye. I really like these folks!

Now we're in Sedro-Woolley with Debbie and Steve (part of that family bush!) and their gaggle of geese, flock of ducks, roost of chickens and waddle of turkeys. A couple days here and then up to Vancouver for a week.


marylorr said...

Hi - great photos of our family reunion and all the fun that went on!

I love your blogs and the way you describe your feelings and reactions.

You are definitely a keeper!

Love, Lorraine

Janet said...

Love the family bush!

Joan B said...

Hi Wee Hill Family! Leanna, I just love your blog - you are a great writer and I love the pics (still can't figure out sleeping arrangements in the Boler, though - send another pic) Thanks for sharing your adventures with us all - stay safe and enjoy little Langy upon your return. Can't wait to see your NEXT blog - and still think a book could be in the works some day - you and Jamma both!! Thanks for the pics of your growing boys - those little guys are awesome. what a blessing! Love you, Joan