I walked into the living room to sit down with the kids and finish their movie before bedtime. They were watching Moana. The movie was at the part where Moana is urging the water to take back the heart of Te Fiti and choose someone else. The water swallows up the greenstone. After, Moana’s grandmother appears. They have a heart to heart with each other and Moana ends up diving for the heart so that she may complete her mission.
I watched this scene and I thought to myself, “How much of my life would be different if I had a relationship with either of my grandmothers?”.
You see, I grew up without extended family for the most part. I have only vague memories of being very little and spending some time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Apparently, the family on my dads’ side disliked him and his family and kept well away from us.
I have never ever met my grandmother from my moms’ side. My grandfather from her side passed before I was born. My aunt, mom’s sister, passed when I was a teenager. Her family was the only extended family we ever had any sort of decent relationship with and that all disappeared after my aunt’s passing.
How different would I be now if I had cousins to get into trouble with growing up, if I had an aunt to call when something happened that I was uncomfortable bringing to my parents?
How different would my shitty childhood have been if my parents had family to rely on for a break from us five kids?
I am so thankful for the extended family that my children are growing up with. It makes a huge difference on their wellbeing to spend the weekend at their grandparents house every now and then.
My daughters have aunt’s that love to take them shopping and be girly with them. My children have cousins right around their ages that they get to stay in touch with. My children have uncles who love to wrestle around and play crazy with them.
My children have an entire network of extended family to grow up knowing and I am so grateful for that.
I know life gets hectic and busy sometimes. I know there can be lengthy periods of time without much contact between family members.
I know, as an adult, I may take issue with some of the extended family members but I will never cut off my children’s extended family simply because I don’t like some of them. As long as they are good to my kids and treat them right, I will always nurture their bonds with their families.
You hear grandparents say the best thing about grandchildren is that you get to have all the fun with them and then send them home. I can’t help but wonder what I missed out on as a kid growing up without grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.