True story- the day before Thanksgiving, my step-brother was out with his family for dinner when his 17 year old son (whom I’ve known his entire life and then some), asked his dad what I was doing for Thanksgiving. My step-brother told him I was probably going to Ohio to see my dad. After a confused moment, my nephew said, “But Grandad lives in Delaware.” (This would be my step-father he refers to, and he has very much been a part of my life and a father figure- but I also have a genetic dad who does the same thing in a slightly less conventional way).
Okay, so I have a step-sister with my same first name, giving these children every reason to ask why they have two aunts with the same name from the same family. My brother asked him why this would be. No answer to that question. So he asked why I have a different last name- this my quick nephew had an answer for. Since my (real) last name is a noun, he predicted that I was called such because I used to work in a restaurant…. So, I have a 17 year old nephew, who has missed, for his entire life, the fact that there are indeed not “5” siblings in his father’s family, but 4 and 1 (genetically and only on that side of the family). Yeah, it’s complicated, I get it; but how on earth did this child go for 17 years not questioning why his father had two sisters with the exact same first name, and different last names. Though in my step-sister’s defense, the other one with my first name, she has had 3 last names to date and approximately 7-10 people who her children have called “Daddy”. In my nephew’s defense, he’s seen a few name changes over the years, but everyone has pretty much stuck to their original first names.
This is a message to all the kids who should not read my blog anyway because I like bad words- Get your heads out of your collective assholes and look up from whatever gaming thing you do. Introduce yourselves to your relatives. There may be surprises for you. Like the 253 people Mommy has listed as “sisters” in Facebook, may not actually be your aunts, and your aunts may be your aunts, but with a different set of parents. Ask why.
I think I need to take my nephew with me to Ohio sometime. It will blow his mind when he finds out I have a whole “secret” family out there too, and he’s never met them. So, while you’re getting together for the holidays this year, ask questions. I forget who said it’s better to be interested than to be interesting, but it’s a good idea from time to time. I rarely subscribe to this personally, but I still think it’s a good idea. I also rarely turn the other cheek in favor of bitching until the assailant leaves me the hell alone, but still, that has its merits as well. An eye for an eye? Gross. But if you touch a hair on my cat’s head in a malicious way, I will glue your knees together with Krazy Glue so you can’t pee without dribbling down your leg.
Dear nephew- read the Bible, not because it’s true (you can decide that yourself), but because if you can get through Numbers, with all the begats and begots, you’ll have our family tree nailed in no time. Our tree in fact, is more like a field of bushes.
Copyright Suki Eastman 2011