Posted by: learningwoman | January 28, 2008

Plaintive text

Last night I got a text from my baby sister, who lives in Sydney. She wanted to know when we could talk, she misses me and feels far away.

Of course, I miss her too, hugely. She was born when I was fifteen, the last of Mum and Dad’s four kids. They had me and L. first, when they were very young and then, ten years later, they had two more. I don’t think it was planned that way but thank god that’s how it happened!

What a privilege it was, to share in the upbringing of my two youngest siblings. To watch them grow into strong, well-adjusted, beautiful, thoughtful, enthusiastic adults. My youngest brother has just turned twenty-six. He’s doing well and I’m proud of him but he has a girlfriend who doesn’t like our family and is doing her level best to detach him from us. Not as difficult as it could be, given that most of us now live in another country….

We’ve decided that the best thing we can do is just keep the lines of communication open with texts, phone calls, emails etc, never say anything negative about his girlfriend, keep up with everything that’s going on in his life and be as loving as we know how. At least then, she can never use a lack of caring our part as a weapon with which to cut us off.

If it were just her, it might be okay but her family (whom I’ve met and who seemed nice…) have decided that he’d be better off without us too and are encouraging him to dwell on any perceived or imagined slight.

I’m genuinely at a loss to explain why they would do this and more, why he’s letting them.

He grew up in a house full of love, where he was valued and encouraged to blossom and grow. He was listened to, played with, laughed with. He was a happy child and he’s grown into a good man.

Anyway, the door’s open and when he wants us, we’ll be here, just like we always have been.

My sister is just growing into her womanhood, becoming comfortable with herself and the world around her. She’s a courageous soul, serene and thoughtful. She’s not sure where her life’s headed yet but at the moment, she lives with her boyfriend and they seem to be having fun.

We try to talk as often as we can but with my kids and her social life and the fact that there’s an eleven hour time difference between the countries, it doesn’t happen as often as we’d like. Hence the plaintive little text last night.

I’m the oldest of the kids in our family and it’s always felt like they’re somehow my responsibility, even L, who’s only two years younger than me.

Each of them know that they can rely on me to drop everything and get to them if they need me. (It’s only happened a couple of times) 

I guess it’s one of the reasons I want to go back and live in Australia. I want to be close enough that we can visit properly, spend time together, be supportive of one another. It makes me a bit uneasy to be so far away. I know that Mum and Dad feel the same way and are contemplating their next move, after having lived here in the UK for the past five years.

I’m grateful to be part of this family, full of good people.

Sometimes it feels like I’ve been parenting for a long time though…………. 🙂

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Responses

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