Character Envy and Family Ties.

Ah, the start of a fresh new week.  And a busy one it will be.  IEP meetings, travel and more meetings, swim lessons, ballet lessons, reading tutoring, and, don’t forget, school and work.  Busy is better, or so they say.  Although….

I did take the rare day off from work on Saturday.  Okay, I did check email and monitored the social media sites, but for the most part, Saturday was a day off.  And it was blissful.  I was busy and running errands most of the day, but, alas, it was relaxing in the way that only not working can be.

I also downloaded Lean on Me by Claudia Hall Christian.  It’s the fourth book in the Alex the Fey series and I just couldn’t focus on anything other than getting back to the book.  That’s when I know I’m hooked.  Well, I knew I was hooked with the first book and they just keep getting better.  I have decided that I want to be Alex the Fey (don’t worry, Alex is short for Alexandra).  She’s this special ops commando woman and aside from the short spiked hair and nary an ounce of body fat on her….she and I could be like twins…from different families and body make-ups and…stuff….

Okay, I am nothing like her in terms of being able to do martial arts or, well, let’s be honest, she could kick my a**.  BUT, I would love to be that focused and determined.  And, I’d love the support system she has.  Friends, family, extended-family, extended-family-of-extended-family.  That is appealing.  So, is being able to do ninja-like kicks, but the chances of that happening are really slim to none.  Unfortunately, the whole extended-family support system is just as unlikely to happen.

My parents literally live on an island, my aunts, uncles, and cousins all live around but we see each other once a year – really, once a year.  My husband’s mom and brother live 45-minutes away, but we haven’t seen them since Christmas and it’s been a very long time since they’ve been over.  My brother lives ten minutes away and while we see him and his family  much more frequently than anyone else, the reality is that we are rather isolated.  I don’t know what it’s like to just go over to my mom’s with the kids for the afternoon or have lunch with a cousin just because.  I don’t have anyone who I can say, “Please, can I leave the kids with you for just an hour so I can shower or start dinner or vacuum or….anything?”  We’re all too busy to stop and pay attention to each other’s lives.  And that’s sad.

Society blames parents for a lot of things.  And, honestly, parenting today is not what it was when I was growing up.  The world has changed and today’s kids are different.  But so too is the way that families interact.  The support system that was there for my grandparents and even my own parents isn’t there anymore.  We are raising our kids in isolation.  The family dynamic is that it’s just….us.  No wonder it seems overwhelming at times.

There’s no blame in this.  It’s just the way it is.  But, after reading hundreds of pages about a life where there’s an amazing support system, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t envious of it.

(Wow, this post went totally askew.  Book review next time!)

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