When I got the Monday Memories “Family Dysfunction” prompt from Quirky Chrissy this morning I was thinking this was going to be super easy. I could write a dissertation on family dysfunction. I mean, we nailed that one. We get a gold start for dysfunction. If only that sort of thing was something you could be cheered on for or be carried around on the shoulders of your fellow teammates for accomplishing. I’d probably be famous.
I was going to tell you all about being an adult child of an alcoholic and tell stories about my youth. I was going to share some family secrets and try to find the humor in it all. I started writing, but it wasn’t really funny, it was sad. I was writing things about my dad and my mom that they probably wouldn’t really want the world to know about. I suddenly felt over exposed and tired of dissecting my family and some of the nonsense we went through. It’s starting to get old and boring too. I mean things have changed so much. We have changed so much. My dad isn’t even alive anymore. Plus, alcoholism isn’t really funny for anyone involved.
So, I started looking around. I realized, my family, the one I created, has its own dysfunction. Nothing as serious as alcoholism and all it entails, but we are messy and unorganized. Mondays are the worst day for us because we have been lazy and goofing off all day on Sunday. So, while this isn’t exactly a memory for me, it will be for Tiny-Small when she gets older. Some day, when she has her own blog and gets this prompt, she will be writing about this:
She will complain about how her mom let the laundry pile up, the toys were all over the place, and the dog ruled the sofa. She will marvel at how her parents could even think in such disarray. She will complain about how we spent all of our time telling jokes and stories to each other while the dishes overflowed from the sink. She will wonder how I managed to get most of it cleaned up by Monday evening. She will vow to run her household better. She will vow to be more efficient.
Except she probably won’t because, well, we’ve all seen her room. She probably got the genetic gene for “who cares if it’s a little messy.” She’ll go on major cleaning rampages before any family or friends come to visit, but the rest of the time she’ll slack a bit.
Because, in the end, we all end up being more like our parents than we ever plan to be. I guess that’s how we can forgive them for their parenting failures and bad judgement. We aren’t really any better. We’re all human. We all have faults. Not one of us is perfect parents. Sometimes a little perspective can change everything. Even if it’s just a tiny slice of understanding.