Sunday, August 26, 2007
Family Reality Style
It has seeemed as if I have been on hiatus in these past few weeks, the last time I posted was the beginning of August, and I am finally taking & making some time. I have been working 12 hour shifts at EMS, 7AM - 7PM, and that really drags the energy out of you by the end of the week. Not to mention that I live in a college town and the students are coming back this week, so the coffee shop has been crazy as well.
The thoughts and inspiration for this blog come to us courteousy of the Fort Worth Star Telegram writer Linda P. Campbell. It's not earth shattering or very current news, but it is a topic that I have had reason to think about now and then. It is about the family. Which is what gave me the idea for the title of todays blog as well. There used to be the Norman Rockwell idea of family, kind of what it was still like when I grew up, you had dinner every night at the table and there was meat and potatoes. Now, I am not that old, but I think that my moms generation was one of the last to raise kids in that fashion.
I think more of us are living the Family Guy life today. Now, I don't claim to speak for everyone because there are probably those of you out there, in the real world, that still sit down several nights a week to a full dinner and I do not want to insult you or your traditions, but I am saying that based upon most people that I know the rest of us are living the alternate lifestyle.
"Just because times have changed doesn't mean that the fundamental value of family has. Sometimes, I worry about not doing the old fashioned Sunday dinner together that's still traditional in many families. Instead we steal family time on the long drive to baseball games, soccer games, you name it games and the meal afterwards. On the multiple short drives to and from school. On occassional afternoons or evenings when we magically have down time," says Campbell, " When the iPods are off and the conversations seem random, that's when the most enlightening revelations occur".
This is how the speed of life affects you. When Max was small we would make the time to sit down and eat a meal together at night. It is not until they actually begin to get active and have their own activities that the meal gets pushed back and we eat on the run. Then it just seems to become a hectic way of life as you and they run from activity to activity. These days it also seems that parents seem to be more active than ours did. I join classes and John meets guys out for a beer when he is in town. I don't rememebr my family ever doing anything of the sort.
Even when we hit the fast food we have had some good talking time. There is no phone ringing, or TV to distract. Some of our best chats have been when Max and I, or he and John, have been at a fast food joint. Maybe casual food leads to more casual conversation. Hmmmm.
I am not a big video gamer, but when I have sat down and given it a try, like Guitar Hero, we both laugh allot, but it has been a time where he has shared and we discuss things. Discussion need not always take place under serious and somber situations. Yesterday I had him come in and watch the Daily Show with me, Barack Obama was the guest, and we had an important discussion about registering to vote when he turns 18 and how important this next election will be. The whole thing only lasted about 10 minutes, but we both felt the impact.
I used to berate myself for not being like, what I thought was typical, family. I thought we had to go to church every Sunday and come home and have the roast beef dinner and spend family night together in the evening. Now, I know that that is just an unrealistic paradigm. Life moves far too quickly today to try and make yourself in to someone else's mold or idea of what a family is or should be.