Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family Relationships

Isn't it kind of weird to think about how your relationship with your family changes over time?  I guess I've kind of been thinking about that lately, since I came back from school and got to see a lot of my family for the first time in months.  My little brother and younger male cousins' voices are all changing, and they're ridiculously tall now.  It's so weird.  That doesn't really have much to do with relationships, but they're definitely getting older and that's more obvious when I'm away for long periods of time.

My sister and I used to fight like crazy.  I'm pretty sure that at least nine out of ten times that I was punished as a child involved fights with her.  It was probably an even higher number than that.  For long periods of time we probably got in huge fights daily.  We definitely still fight, but it's a million times calmer than before.  And the fights are more slight arguments than attacking each other over extremely little things.  We actually willingly spend time with each other now where things don't dissolve into a huge fight.

My brother and I have always gotten along, so the changes in our relationship are less obvious.  Same with my parents.  Things change so gradually that I don't even realize it.  I was thinking the other day about how I used to pick my brother up all the time for absolutely no reason.  I probably did that until he was at least eight years old, maybe slightly older.  I was still picking him up when he was at least half my height.  Now that would be impossible.  He's almost as tall as I am, and there's no way I could even if I wanted to.

I remember going through a phase, around middle school and maybe the beginning of high school, where I felt like an outsider in my family.  I never really rebelled or anything, but I pretty much just sat in a corner and did almost nothing during family gathering because I felt so out of place.  I'm not oldest on my dad's side and one of the youngest on my mom's.  I only have two cousins relatively close to my age (one on each side), and both of them are boys.  At that age I felt too old to play with my younger cousins, too young to fit in with my older cousins, and I definitely didn't fit in with the adults.  Even though the age gaps are the same as they've always been (and should probably be more obvious since my older cousins are mostly parents and my younger ones are now in grade school and I'm a college student), I don't feel that way anymore.  I don't know why.  I used to hate going to family events because I felt out of place, but now I love them and love getting to see my family.

I'm sure similar things happen to everyone, but it's interesting to think back on how things have changed with my family over the years.

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