I love finding out about family, especially extended family because some have lots and others have very few. I had a friend in school who had no aunts or uncles and family occasions such as Christmas were spent just the four of them, always. Coming from a relatively big family, that’s almost an alien concept to me. My mind went instantly to Christmas because it’s December and I’m listening to one of dozens of versions of Jingle Bells.
So, my family…the family I grew up with in my house is a pretty average family: mum, dad, two older sisters (Louise, Sarah) and me. We’ve had various pets through the years, from hamsters, to mice and of course, our beloved cats.
Looking further afield though, up until 2008 I had all four grandparents and when I was younger my great-grandma was even alive. I don’t much remember her, but I do recall her death, it didn’t affect me too much because I was only small. She used to have two dogs and we’d go round to her bungalow and visit her and Frank; that was the first place I learnt what a commode was.
Back to the grandparents, my mum and dad both have relatively large families and have both brothers and sisters between them. My mum has one brother and three sisters, all older. Whilst my dad is second oldest, has an older sister and two younger brothers.
I’ve always had plenty of cousins, having aunties and uncles it’s almost a given. My uncle Ray (mum’s brother) didn’t have any children of his own, but my two older aunties had children when my mum was relatively young so they’ve always been a lot older. I remember when I turned 18 one of my older cousins said that he turned 18 when all the new 18 year olds were being born. Then I have two younger cousins on that side too, David is eleven months younger than me and Tim just turned twenty. I probably see Tim the most out of any of my cousins, well, I did before he went to university.
On my dad’s side, his older sister only had one child, my cousin Nicola. Then his brother’s had my youngest cousins who are all in secondary school.
Anyway, that’s not really here nor there I don’t think. Katy wanted us to talk about our families, whether we get along and such. I assume the idea was to talk mostly about our little family we grew up in not the extended one.
I get along with my parents fine, I always have. I guess with the way Louise was in her teenage years and the fights she and Sarah used to have over Louise taking her things, I was never any trouble so I didn’t have anything to fall out with them over. I was never very naughty and I guess I copped a bad deal being stuck between the fighting. I’ve never got along with either sister really, we did when we were younger a little, but times change and quite frankly, the way Sarah was with me when we were younger, it wasn’t getting along. It was her treating me as an embarrassing younger sister.
I don’t really want to talk about it anymore; it’s something I’ve taken to counselling though. Still affects me people, more than I realised.
Louise is now a feminist and possibly not completely straight (which pisses me off because I hate following in their footsteps) and Sarah is her usual self. Neither have really bothered with me and I don’t bother with them either.
I will end with telling you that it’s my mum’s dad’s 90th birthday today. We had a party on Wednesday and when my Auntie Janet read out a bit of a speech, he cried. It was rather touching. Here’s a photo of him from that occasion. He reminds me of the old man from Up! when he closes his mouth like that.