Photo: a Lily-Kelly love-fest
Those moments– the ones that help you remember that you are beautifully, inextricably connected, for better and for worse, to the other people in your family tree– are powerful. Sacred, even. And while I firmly believe that the family we choose is as precious as the family we’re born into, there’s something pretty amazing about connecting with the people with whom you share a genetic link.
But this almost-end-of-summer weekend was full–remarkably, unexpectedly, brilliantly, full–of more of those moments than I could ever dream of counting.
When Kelly, the cousin I idolized as a kid but hadn’t seen in nearly fifteen years, offered to drive three hundred miles to spend the weekend with Dmitri, Lily, and me (and, of course, to go to the beach :)), I was excited– but I was also worried. What if she
didn’t like me was too different? What if I was too different? And what if those differences, created and cultivated over the course of a decade (plus some), proved to be too major to manage?
Watching my girl, however– her no-longer-a-baby hand holding tight to a woman I always wanted to be just like— charge into those gulf waves, totally confident that she belonged in that place in that moment, made it hard to justify the energy it would require to do anything except look forward. And if forward happens to look anywhere near as lovely as those two ladies did on Monday afternoon, then it is going to be quite a sight to behold.
It’s undeniable: after all of these years, we are different.
But we are also family. And in our family– this family that we were born into but are also choosing to redefine and rework– there is always room to grow.