by Grace aka costofcollege
Do you maintain close ties with your parents, siblings, and extended family?
Frank Bruni and his family place great value in having a week-long family reunion every year.
… we’re also dedicated to it, and we’ve determined that Thanksgiving Day isn’t ample, that Christmas Eve passes too quickly, and that if each of us really means to be central in the others’ lives, we must make an investment, the biggest components of which are minutes, hours, days. As soon as our beach week this summer was done, we huddled over our calendars and traded scores of emails to figure out which week next summer we could all set aside. It wasn’t easy. But it was essential.
Marjorie Rosenblatt’s youngest child is in high school, and she wants to be sure to stay close to her kids as they become independent adults.
While I recognize this progression toward independence was our eventuality, even our goal, it felt and still feels somehow unnatural to me; how can we as parents know the comings and goings of and daily events in the lives of our children, only to accept that this degree of involvement would be relatively abruptly replaced by an occasional text or phone call? How can our family, an indivisible unit, disperse, and yet (we hope) continue to be solid? How can we stay close as a family as our lives diverge?
She suggests group travel, text threads, traditions, and care packages. Gretchen Rubin and her family send frequent email “updates” to each other as a way to maintain close contact.
I like some of these ideas, but they do require a commitment to make them work. I’ve seen how easy it is to let family ties fray. One way I maintain contact with some extended family is through a private Facebook group, where we post updates about what is happening in our lives. We feel we can share more on this private group than on our regular timeline.
Has your extended family kept close ties? If so, how have you made it happen? Have you thought about ways to maintain close contact with your children as they become adults? If your children are grown, are you satisfied with the type of relationship you now have? On the other hand, do you prefer to keep a friendly distance from some relatives?