Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When families collide

I've got family on my mind.

I live close to my Mother (you're welcome, Mom). But most of my extended family lives in an area of the country that requires a 9-hour car drive. (And, if you have ever been in the car for nine hours with a talkative child, you know that the full drive time feels closer to 30 hours.)

But I digress.

I'm between family reunions right now. By that I mean that we just returned from an annual one for my father's side of the family (although we usually only attend every other year), and there is also an upcoming reunion with my mother's side of the family. Whenever I get to spend time with all my aunts, uncles and cousins I feel warm and accepted. And like a horrible family member.

But more on that in a moment.

After I returned from the first reunion, I came across this study on multi-generational households. Evidently, over 18% of the population is now living in a multi-generational household. It's important to note that for the purposes of the study, students living in dorms and young adults under the age of 24 were excluded (unless they were sharing a household with more than one other generation). What really interested me was that young men were more likely than women to live with multiple generations under one roof.

Why did this study capture my attention? Well, most of my extended family lives near each other and they always know what is going on in each other's lives. From the outside, they seem very interconnected. Part of me really admires that, and the rest of me has gotten used to the big yearly visits.

After a brief stay, and lots of "we wish you lived closer" comments and hearing about the details that make up their lives, I feel like I should make more of an effort to communicate with my extended family.

After all, I have a habit of doing nice things for my work family, why don't I make that effort with my extended family?

I feel another project coming on.

In the meantime, who in your family do you need to get in touch with more often? Tell me in the comments.

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