Monday, June 10, 2013

I Can't Give Leilani The Families She Wants

I can't give Leilani the family she wants. I'm okay with that, and beyond happy that I have realized this.

When Leilani and I were in Michigan it was one of the rare times that 'whole' family was all together (which I admit is great and can be very emotional). Leilani's four tias-aunts-, one of her grandma's, two of her grandpas, some friends from Michigan, and her cousin- who is more like her brother and best friend all wrapped into one- were there.

We were the first people to leave the familie's get together which made Leilani break down in tears.  "I... I... don't want to leave my cousiiiiinnnnn!!!" Leilani gasped between tears. Without really thinking and not intending to be mean I turned to her and said "Everywhere we go we will always leave family behind."

I had an 'Aha' moment! It was true!

When I was younger I moved around a lot. I attended about 8 elementary schools and always left behind friends, family, and "the new life." It was tough and I told myself that I would NEVER put my child through that because I knew how much it sucked. I felt bad, I felt like a liar, a bad mom, and a failure for not "keeping my promise" but in reality I didn't make a promise that was realistic.

My promise was unrealistic because I do not and can not change my family or the way the family is structured. I can't raise Leilani in a city where ALL her family lives in because that's not my extended families reality and now that I realize these things I have come to terms with the fact that it's okay, it's not my fault, and it's just the way my family is.

I am part of a family of nomads, we travel, we squat, we are all over the place, it's great, and it's our family. There will always be a tearful see you later, a period of time were we wont see each other, a Christmas where we all wont be together, and it's tough but it's our family, our reality. All we can do is appreciate the perks this comes with having a nomad family.

Perks like:
  • Not having to always pay for hotels
  • Not getting 'tired' of one another so quickly 
  • Really enjoying and cherishing the time we have together
  • Being able to see different parts of the world
  • Being able to realize early on that life is full of good-byes, see you laters, and feelings of not having enough time. 
I love my family, I love the nomadic-ness, I love the fact that we are always going to have an adventure. This wasn't always the case but I guess I'm growing up. 

What is your family like? Are you all geographically far or close to one another?