When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them. ~George Bernard Shaw
We don’t pick our families. I think, though, as we grow up and have our own subfamilies (spouses, partners, kids, dogs) we build a semi-permeable membrane around ourselves. There has to be some exchange of famili-ness with the uber-family, hence the semi-permeability. But we live within the membrane walls.
Sometimes, we bump against another’s membrane wall. Not so much with our parents. I can walk in the house, open the fridge to shop around for grub. When my kids get big, I hope they look through my cupboards, too.
But with the sibs’ families, we each create our own versions of adulthood. When we talk about each other, though, it is through the lens of childhood. Mom’s favorite is still the favored one, and the wild one–even after they become respectable–is referenced by those old days.
These are not inherently dysfunctional relationships. Maybe just some parts, maybe none. I wonder, though, if I am seeing this, am I just building within the walls of my own cell, or that I am I making my cell’s walls more porous?