Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sweet Tea Tuesday: Rolling Stones

Ah yes, Rolling Stones,The Aftermath: unfortunately, this is not about a rock band, but rather a band of children. Shifts position at the table. This is about me, the four siblings I’ve learned of, and the couple I’ve met in the past 12 years.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I’d heard the whispers of “grown folks’ business” betwixt my grandmother and her coffee, toast and jam crew. My parents were young and free-early 1970s free. My mother-a progressive womanist-sans title at the time -prided herself on being a woman who’d taken on a man, not one taken and stripped of her person and name.

It all seemed simple enough then, y’know when life was simple. I had two sets of grandparents, and as the years progressed and my mother partnered with my stepfather, some aunts and uncles too. Really, who can’t use twice as much guilt-laden grandparental and familial love?! In truth, I know they loved and love me infinitely, but what I also know to be true is that they feared the worst. They wondered, worried anxiously about the aftermath of all of this free-rolling love.

Well, here we are some 37 years later and I’m trying to explain to my children where these aunts and uncles are coming from. Awkwardly describing-whilst trying to decipher-how it is that social networking sites have been more instrumental in the cohesion of our “family” than its founders were. Plugging dates and tracing steps, wondering just how often we’d each crossed paths in one place or another, oblivious of one another. Navigating the tenderness of words, pre-meditatively placing careted words like “other” between “my” and “brother”. Breathes slowly and deeply.

The dynamic is incredibly complex, because on the one hand I’m morbidly curious and fascinated by the similarities in features, stature, orthodonture, cadence, tonal inflections and more. Yet, it’s apparent each of us, in our own ways are protective- guarded even- of our foundations, of the families we grew up in, the pieces of our Selves we were able to salvage, safeguard and restore as the stones rolled.

This piece was originally written for my weekly Sweet Tea Tuesdays column over on Moms of Hue. Today is the last day to vote for us as the Best Parenting or Family blog here.

Peace and love


Barbara said...

I've periodically searched the social networking sites for my sister. My dad gave her to me as a 10th birthday present - she was 14! I remember later being confused because my parents were married. And then there is my own child. Reading how you and your brothers/sisters relate to each other gives me a flash forward of how my daughter may later relate to her sisters and brother, and how they may relate to her.

Great piece!

Jewelry Rockstar said...

I've got some of this going on in my family, but it is too annoyingly complicated to explain. I won't bother. Just know most of us are all on facebook, and that's where we are.

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