Julia arrived home with an incredible treasure. At the family Thanksgiving celebration last week, one member gathered up all the best photos and created a calendar. It featured shots each month of those who were celebrating a birthday or an anniversary.

We talk a lot about family. Her’s is large and tight-knit, mine is small and scattered. I often remark how I am jealous of the depth of connections. Tonight she replied, “With that comes a tremendous about of responsibility.”

How true and astute for someone of 22…

Family obligations, family expectations, family support. How it has changed? Extended family is almost an oxymoron in America today. Our parents, fresh from the seismic shift of a World War, chose to have fewer children. The households with 6 or more kids weren’t rare in my neighborhood, but they were definitely in the minority. And for the most part they were devout Catholics. Birth control and a move from agriculture changed the fabric of our families.

Julia’s family has far more of an influence on her time and emotion than other people I know her age and slightly older. I am constantly reminded by the love and support she has,  how important this is in a young person’s life. And yes, I do see the responsibility that goes with it. That calendar is not just full of birthdays and anniversaries, it is full of dates to be celebrated en mass; events that require her to drop the pretenses of her daily life and embrace her history.

Maybe that’s why sites such as are so successful. We are all searching for a bigger family but dodging the day-to-day responsibility…



6 thoughts on “Family…

  1. They say you cannot choose “family”… I for one don’t believe that, immediate family is just the foundation of your “personalized family unit”. Who you let into your “family unit” over your lifetime is yours for the making…. right Doppleganger?

  2. I think it is impressive she realizes the responsibility that comes with her family. So often, especially today, families grow and split. Moving far away and forgetting their families and roots.

  3. My family, even brothers and sisters, have never been very close but we all seem to like it that way. Or at least, we don’t mind it. Personally I place a high value on solitude and people dropping in all the time, or my having to drop in on them all the time, would make me absolutely crazy.

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