The All-in-a-Day Moms are discussing family togetherness today, so I thought I'd join in. The topic is a bit ironic, though, since it happens to be one of those days where I feel as though a little less family togetherness might not be a bad thing. The past 24 hours have been rife with less than wonderful behavior (and I am certainly including myself in there) and I feel despair trying to creep in. Some days it feels as though not only will we never make progress, but we are going backwards.
But that's all a part of it, this family-togetherness-thing, isn't it? Getting along with other people when you only see them for bits at a time is easy compared to getting along with family members with whom you spend the bulk of your day, every day. If we can learn to treat our family members with kindness and patience and grace then we can probably treat just about anyone that way.
What is it about sibling relationships that they can be so tricky? I want my children to be good friends. I want them to have relationships now that enable them to be good friends when they are adults. J. and I are both blessed to have good relationships with all of our brothers and sisters, but I have friends who cannot say the same. Hurts inflicted in childhood do affect adult relationships.
That is why we try to be vigilant with how are children treat and act toward one another. We do not want any of our children to feel bullied by another; we do not want one child to feel the scapegoat for everyone else; we do not want a child to always feel odd-man out. For the most part I think we are successful. But there are days, which for one reason or another, I wonder if we are even coming close to getting it right.
When I get to a point like this, where I am focusing on the negatives, I become like Frances when her new baby sister is born and start to think, "Things aren't very good around her anymore." Once you start looking for the bad stuff, that is all you begin to see. I need to shift my focus.
Because, in general, family togetherness if wonderful. We have fun together, we enjoy each other's company, we care for each other, and we love each other. We're just not perfect... and my perfectionist nature doesn't always accept that.