For all the talk about husbands and children, and the occasional grandparent or two on CocoaMamas, we don’t very often communicate about our extended family networks. I often brag that in my house growing up there was always an aunt, play cousin or godmom around to chew the fat with. Lately, my network is getting somewhat smaller. I still agree by the general spirit however that, “it takes a village, to raise a child.” Tonight, I was reminded of the constant role that my siblings (two brothers and one sister) play in the shaping and development of my new family’s future. Are CocoaMamas (at large) still resourced and supported by their “old” families?
In my paternal side’s “heyday,” we use to gather for family sing-a-longs; mainly we would sing spirituals, peppered with a Stevie Wonder or Bill Withers balad here and there. My children, regrettably, will never share in those memories. However, my family has continued its artistic impulses, working collaboratively on film and digital music projects. My daughter (1.5 years) proudly joined us tonight for a “business” pow-wow. She moderated the meeting, all loud and boisterous on the other end of my brother’s speaker phone.
I am grateful to have a ton of friends, female friends in particular, that have nutured their relationship with me over the years to the point where I have no doubt that we will always be cool. It is trickier for family sometimes though. You have to come up with common interests and be equally invested in maintaining traditions to keep relationships going. Isn’t it funny how with friends you embrace new experiences; a “girl’s trip” to this exotic location or a new movie? However, with family you tend to only sign yourself up for the “same old, same old.”
What are you doing to keep your relationship with your siblings going, and most importantly, how are you modeling the role of family for your children?