Family & The Holidays

You never can tell when the lightbulb is gonna cla-click ON above your head.

In my case, one of my nephews was being a little turd as my other nephew wailed, the baby was balancing disturbingly rigid and giggling maniacally at the end of my brother's arm, there were at least four different conversations going on that were impossible to distinguish because of that weird sh-sh-sh-sh-ing white-noise from the sea of tissue paper at our feet - and I was busily sucking down my third eggnog and ignoring the now-icy cold pee stain on my leg where the baby's diaper had leaked (an event later deemed by my brother to be the highlight of his holidays).

At some point, from the comfort of my eggnog-moustached Safety Bubble, I shifted from passive observer to active observer. And as I took in the Universe of Mayhem surrounding me, I realized that, for all of the stress and insanity and hurt feelings and eardrum-splitting decibels of this crazy mishmashed family of mine, there were greater parts joy and connection and laughter and goofiness: What a huge mess of love and wanting-to-be-loved we all are. Everyone wishing to be seen, accepted and appreciated. Everyone wanting to feel good, be happy, experience fulfillment.

What an amazing and wonderful bunch of people are here - look at them! Look. Life is a giant Mardi Gras and the beads are love - laissez les bons temps rouler!

As my friend and catharsis-walk partner Deb points out, for the rest of our lives, we'll all have stuff to work on. We'll also have stuff to celebrate. You don't always get to choose. Sometimes, your brother chooses your challenges for you. Sometimes the Universe intervenes and puts a small dog and a little boy together and the dog breaks its paw and needs $2000 worth of surgery.

Sometimes a tragedy like that breaks things apart for awhile - and sometimes, it also breaks things open. Sometimes bad things lead to really, really good things. Because of good choices. And love. Especially love.

For the most part (because trust me, we are indeed a family with issues) this is a family that manages. And for all of the zaniness and cacophonic wonder that erupts from this madcap troupe and their willful offspring, despite the bumpy, ass-wrenching hayride of the ever-unfolding familial saga, I am so happy to be on the wagon rather than running alongside it. I love these people. I love sitting on these sticky, prickly fucking haybales and hucking Mardi Gras beads around their necks.

In so many ways, I am the luckiest woman alive. Beads for everyone, baby! Beads for EVERYONE!


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >