Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Conventional upbringings

So, big sibling no. 2 has now facebook befriended mother of little siblings 4-7. I love it when people connect, especially when I played a part. In the 'fun days' it would be match making, with me often in the middle causing trouble. Hopefully my matchmaking now isn't the trouble causing variety though...
This mornings conversation went:
me (as explained above): A has made friends with L on facebook
son (distracted): oh
me (v proud of myself): so now everyone is connected with each other
son: erm... except my dad?
me (duh!): oh right yeah the person whose actually biologically connected to everyone the world!

I'm glad my son can see the funny side of the fact his father is a serial family maker but I'm sure it wont always be this easy. My son hasn't seen him in over a year and for big sibling its been about 13 years. While I'd quite like his current non-existence in these family re-connections to continue I don't know how long it will last. Complicated families are great when its only the ones you like that you have to deal with! At the moment I'm relying on sheer laziness on the fathers part and typical teenage lack of interest on my sons part but this doesn't really feel sustainable or particularly ideal for my son. The thing is I don't know what 'ideal' is in this situation...

During some post-Christmas traveling I told my son about how his father got his surname and how he perhaps didn't have the easiest of childhoods. For the time it was probably the least conventional upbringing imaginable. I don't want my son to dislike his father and I thought it may help explain, but not justify, the way he is a bit. Luckily we had recently watched a BBC 2-part war-time drama that romantized a very similar story, so he had that to refer to. My son seemed fine with it all. Or at least the BBC family rated version anyway.

While up north we met up with two of my older cousin. We don't see them often so its nice to check in and remind my son there are some normal people on my side of the family (will post another time about my mad family). Our Grandparents, however, are less than pleased with the routes their grandchildren, unlike their own children, have taken so far; having children 'outside of wedlock' (despite marrying a few years later), partnering with men who already have children (although all appears very amicable) etc. Pretty normal stuff but to my Grandparents this is all very wrong. Of course I made all my 'mistakes' before I was even 20, but this doesn't seem to have made it any less shameful for my cousins in their thirties! I find it sad that my Grandparents are so determined to stick to their traditional and conventional 'morals' that they are willing to miss out on getting to know some lovely members of their family.

Meanwhile two of my best friends, recently married (not to each other), are just starting families. They have done it all the the 'right' way round despite both coming from very unconventional backgrounds themselves. I am so happy for them both but I can't help also being a bit jealous that they will never have to explain to their children why their father is a b with the aid of a BBC drama! Still, my son seems ok with his unconventional family and I'm yet to notice any harbouring resentment or bitterness. I reckon there's a pretty good chance of him developing into well rounded, stable human being with strong family values but understanding of the distinction between unconventional and crap. It's a shame my Grandad can't make this distinction but I guess things were different in his day and shame was an accepted reaction to 'unconvention'. It wasn't until my Dad started doing the family tree last year that we discovered my Grandad's own mum was 16 and unmarried when she was pregnant with him......Which I guess explains a lot....Anyway I've just got my son some phone credit with instructions to text his father back. Now I just need someone to pass me some instructions too.....

1 comment:

  1. Feeling for you on all counts...I wish my family was less complicated too. Amazing what you can find out on facebook isn't it.