Every family has its own rhythm and synchronicity. It is a blend of personalities, and the coming together under one roof of those personalities creates the family culture. No two families are alike.
Our particular rhythm and culture is noise and laughter. When we are all together, the joking abounds, and no one escapes.
I am proud of my family. But more than pride, I feel blessed. And here's why...
My oldest daughter, the mother of the twins, is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. She is a bit nervous and preoccupied, which is to be expected. She was getting ready to go home tonight, as was my youngest daughter. My son had already departed with my oldest grandson.
One of the twins is having some difficulty in school. What his sister absorbs like a sponge, he has more trouble learning, and he has fallen a bit behind in school, first grade to be exact.
Maddie had finished the eight books she had to read on her own to get a certificate of some kind at school. Duncan was three books behind.
We wanted him to read a book before his mom left. He didn't want to. My youngest daughter convinced him to read to her. And he did. Not just one book, but two.
Now here's the part where I get misty eyed in the telling. Because Dunc wasn't alone while he read. Wretch held the book and pointed out the sentences. Jen watched and encouraged him. Stevie Wonder turned the sound off on the TV so that Dunc could concentrate more easily.
And we all listened and cheered Duncan on. All of us. He beamed with smiles as he read, and when he finished the second book said "see, that wasn't hard at all!"
We all postponed what we were doing to give Dunc the encouragement to succeed. And when he finished, we gave equal time to Maddie. Because in our family, no child gets left behind.
And that is what makes our family strong. We celebrate each other's victories, and support each other during times of stress or sadness. Because that is the flip side of the laughter and mayhem. The deeper meaning of love.
The meaning of family.