There and back again
2005-01-03 - 9:37 a.m.
So we've been there and back again. It was an odd trip, and I'm not able to work out exactly why.
1. The girls slept late -- partly because they were tired, and because of the time difference, and because it was really hot in the room we were staying in. Partly to avoid pesky small cousins. Partly because they are adolescents. Anyway, it meant we didn't get out much, which I think contributed to the wierdness.
2. Kevin's dad is dead, and that put everything into flux. He was a very difficult guy with very strong opinions about everything, and a rather large opinion of himself. This should have been obvious to me, but sort of wasn't. Anyway, not having him there leant an odd sort of frivolity to life -- dinner did not have to be at 6:30. The boys got to pick the wine, and I think sort of had fun going down and deciding what we'd drink, and then talking about it in a normal sort of way.
The relationship of the boys was also changed -- when T. was around they were all, like it or not, trying to impress him. With him gone, they were just normal people.
3. Kevin and Nora had work to do, which meant that noone went out much -- we could have gone to detroit, or to canada, or just to local museums, but we didn't.
4. The family dynamic became clear to me while watching family movies. Tom loved Brian, because he was smart and capable and the oldest. Kevin, three years younger, could in no way keep up. Brian was mean to Kevin (in a way he is now really ashamed of). Brian was nice to Neil, eight years younger. Kevin was mean to Neil and got in big trouble for it. Brian and Neil hung out with their dad. Kevin disappeared, while still, of course, wanting his dad to like him. Tom loved Neil, who was the baby with blond curls. Kevin developed a certain feeling that he is hard done by the world.
Actually, college was really a great time for Kevin because his father and his brothers were not around. Instead he was surrounded by people who didn't think of him in relation to those superior beings, but just as some guy -- himself pretty smart.
My family was also somewhat complicated, and possibly that's what drew us together -- we'd made identities outside our families because our families really didn't fit us.
There are lots of things to point to as markers of what not to do -- I don't want to die like that, and I don't want to treat my kids like that -- But is it really just that easy?
I'm not sure --
It was a wierd vacation, but it made a lot of other things much clearer.
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