What I did on my summer vacation

I am 2 days back from the annual Wallis family vacation. There are 15 of us which can be overwhelming not only to us but to any poor wait staff trying to serve us food. We are not exactly a big warm lovey family. We are loud, drink too much, and there is usually screaming.

That being said me and O had a great time (and I couldn't even drink). I won't speak for Shaun........because I think they are all a little too much for him. O adores his older cousins and asked for them each day as soon as he woke up. Although, he never seemed exhausted from running in the waves, digging in the sand or floating in the pool ........me and baby #2 did.

Back to family. Going home used to make me physically ill. My stomach started to hurt and the thinner skin I donned in college had to thicken up pretty quick to deal. Within hours of getting home I usually had done one of three things 1) drink 2) escape to a friend's house or 3) cry (and sometimes all three). My family did not look like I thought my friend's families did. We did not hug and bake cookies and have long heart to hearts. we rarely ate at the table. They were more likely to cuss at me than congratulate me. They were not meeting my expectations of what home was supposed to be like. Each time I go home I got the same show. Each time I went I had the same false expectations and was always disappointed. I can't blame it all on my family.......sometimes I shut down well before I even got there but the frustration level remained the same.

And then one day I had a an ok time. And the next time seemed even better. And then I even started looking forward to seeing my family. Nothing really changed. We still yell and avoid issues and imbibe too much. But there is also a lot of laughing. We are taken care of. We are each other. I don't know when exactly.........but at some point I lost the false expectations I had for my visits home and just tried to enjoy who these crazy people were. I seemed to fit right in.

Family is one of the best pictures of love we have on this planet, but is still miserably imperfect. It just is. It frustrates. It disappoints. It has less conditions than most of our other relationships. It has the ability to hurt more than those as well. It hopes for better but let's be honest usually just gets the same. It trusts blindly as a toddler, questions as an adolescent and usually accpets as an adult. It wipes bottoms and scraped knees and is the first person listed on emergency contact lists. We share bathrooms and bedrooms and sometimes even our hearts. For a little while I was appreciative that God loves us like that. Exactly where we are at rather than who we want them to be. We are part of his family and you love your family big and crazy and loud even when that is the only connection we have to them.

God, however, can of course do better. He doesn't divorce. He doesn't disapoint. He doesn't lose His temper. He is always proud of us. He doesn't just accept us and love us as we are but he sees better. He loves that imperfect girl, but also sees and loves who he made me to be.


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