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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Togetherness Factor

I grew up in a small family, just my parents, an older brother and I. Just before I left for America, my baby brother was born. Since there is quite an age difference between us, each of us felt like only children. I got Dad  to take me places I wanted to go for over twelve years before the baby took over everyone's attention. Yes, we had a big extended family, but we didn't spend much time with them.

My son Scott married into a very close knit family.

In this recent picture, his wife, daughter and immediate family decided to come together on vacation to Oregon. This is the extended family's first visit to these parts.

 First, they all had to agree right up front on the need for such trip, the purpose of it, the destinations, and the arrangements, such as where to stop to spend the night, etc,,,

I have known them for a long time, a very close-knitted group, supportive and generous with each other. The reason for the trip: dropping my/our grandchild off at Reed College in Portland. Hence the reason for them to stop over on the Southern Oregon Coast to visit with us, the in-laws. My son Scott, a teacher, was not on this trip, as his school calendar had already started.

Our grandchild has been raised by the entire family.

Raising children with the help of a large family becomes everybody's responsibility and everybody's joy. Uncles and aunts contribute their time, energy and resources in making sure the new generation is well supported, well guided, well equipped to face the larger world facing them. My grandchild is lucky to have been born among such caring individuals who many times put aside their own needs and wants to join her and become her biggest supporters. At every activity she has been involved in, she's had a loving audience there, cheering for her, congratulating her, joyful with her. And so, as she goes off to college, the family too will stop by the famous campus, visit the halls, inspect the living quarters.

Most importantly, she'll learn through example, will internalize how and what a family does, and will look forward to a union in her future that is this fulfilling and this rewarding.