I want to be the mother that practically trips over her adult children with every turn. I want to be the mother that can say something and have her adult children hear it without making a long distance phone call. I want to be the grandmother who has to clean up crayon drawings from her furniture and witness her grandchildren repeatedly remove their diapers only to pee on her carpet.
I want to be the mother that I know exists but isn't exemplified in my familial world.
When I was growing up, I envied my friends who had cousins they saw daily or weekly. I envied those friends that would talk about 'aunt' and 'uncle' in the same breath as 'mom' and 'dad'. I heard about huge weekend gatherings, family celebrations, and wondered what that felt like.
I love my family. Each of my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. - they are a part of me and each has an important place in my life - my history and my future. But no two of us live in the same city, with the exception of my sister and father. While I was fortunate enough to live with my mother recently, we are now once again in different towns, albeit neighboring ones.
My relatives on my mother's side are all in different states - most of them in the same state, but again, spread out in different cities. My mother left home and moved to a different state. My mother's parents and their families were all spread out in the United States and the older generations - far away in their home country.
My relatives on my father's side are in different countries. My father and his brother left home as soon as they could, moved to different countries and raised their children far away from their own parents and from each other. My father's mother left her country and siblings as well.
My family tree literally spans the globe.
Some of us try to stay in touch, have family reunions whenever we can, but we are not 'close' in proximity, and because of this, we are not close in life. In essence, we are like individual pieces of rope dangling from the branches of our family tree - some of us connecting and forming knots that keep us close together in life, but many of us remaining just out of reach. Even if two ends of a rope can touch, there isn't enough slack to tie them together. We connect through blood but fail to be close enough to connect in everyday life.
Is it just the distance that separates us, or is it something greater that pushes us apart?
While each of my relatives has their own varying degree of connection to each other, from my perspective I am knotted only to my children - and to them I'm so tightly bound I'm certain they feel suffocated. At ages five and three, however, I say - too bad! I believe it's important they have that sense of security and 'attachment' as they grow.
But how do I keep them from untying my knots when they reach adulthood? Sure, one day they'll go to college, travel the world - but I want it take place while still tied securely to me and to each other. Stretching out as far as they need, providing freedom to breathe and grow independently, but assuring that it pulls us right back together when they are ready to settle down. How do I begin the process of tying knots today that will hold steadfastly when my children become adults and start their own families?
Until my children were born I felt alone in the world. Not because I didn't have the support of my siblings and parents, but because physically, proximally, I just did not feel connected to my relatives. I could call them, email them, etc., but we weren't together. None of us tried to stay together - I'm just as responsible for this choice as they are. We moved away, in different directions. Perhaps it's because we're all different people. Individuals in thought and ambition, and therefore sharing a parallel life is impossible. We love each other, but from afar. We go through our lives alone, forming connections and bonds with those people we find in life, not those on our family tree.
With EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, we gain freedom from emotional blocks that cause physical manifestations of something - from a headache, to a bad relationship, to maybe even a family pattern. Sometimes we learn that we carry down emotional blocks (issues) from our parents and grandparents. It's why we have the saying 'She married her father' - good or bad. How do we clear an issue that may come down through generations and not even be something we're aware of? How do we break free so that we can walk a different path, form a new pattern?
I'm thinking all I need to know is what I don't want to repeat. Perhaps being aware of the pattern is the biggest challenge. But then what?
As I look at my beautiful, sleeping children tonight, I wish with all my heart that the pattern that seems to be inherent on every branch of my family tree can stop with me. As I examine my family pattern, examine how I'm unconciously a part of this pattern, how can I change it for my children? How can I break the pattern for the next branches of our tree and create a genuine desire for each of us to want to remain tightly clustered together as we grow through life?
I want to be the mother that I know exists but isn't exemplified in my familial world. I want to be the mother that starts a new pattern. I want to be the mother that makes family knots and watches proudly as they multiply and tighten, generation after generation after generation.