Many people I know engage with their families on a consistent basis. One of my coworkers will see his dad maybe a few times a week. Another coworker sees her mom very often even though they live an hour or so away. Sometimes this is out of necessity and sometimes it is out of the joy of spending time together.
We tend to go to my wife’s side of the family a lot. I love them all too. My mother-in-law calls me her favorite son-in-law even though I am her only one. But she says it like I would be, even if she had other options.
Visiting my side of the family, however, is more sparse. Not that I really want it to be. We just spent time with my brother, aunts, and cousins I grew up with after Pope’s funeral. Talking to them again was great. My wife said it was like watching a stand-up comedienne listening to my cousin talk.
Driving to Pope’s house I was thinking, “Wow, I will never make it here again.” This thought made me feel a little sad. Growing up in a small town, I disliked it, but it was mainly because my parents had left me with my grandparents. Going back and seeing my son run around in a huge area made me really miss the wide-open spaces of my youth.
I was grateful when my aunt suggested that we meet up again for a family dinner. Apparently, she and my cousins have one every few months and she didn’t want us to slip out of contact.
Sometimes my mom and I will not talk to each other for weeks at a time and I don’t see her that often either. My dad and I wouldn’t see each other much when he was alive. My brother told me he had said he realized why I didn’t call because when he was my age he was incredibly busy too.
And I guess that is it, I am really bad at reaching out. My dad would never call me unless he needed something, and Pope wouldn’t call me, so really I come from a long line of people that are bad at reaching out.
I have friends that I love dearly that I only see when they hit me up for lunch or it’s their kid’s birthday or they need tech support. I would be there for them in an instant if they needed me to bail them out of jail or help them move, but in the back of my mind think I might be intruding if I were to call them.
None of this makes me sad, per se. I have a job that gives me a lot of satisfaction and then I love to come home to my wife and son. It’s just that some of the times I feel like maybe I should have other relationships that I put time and effort towards.