Dodie Smith, author of the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians (yes, it is a novel) once referred to family as "that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to."
Today has been a day of bittersweet appreciation of my dear octopus.
I feel fortunate to be able to say that I genuinely like my family. To love one's family is generally expected and required, but to like them...that's something special. After years of simply putting up with the various tentacles that make up my family, things have shifted. They are my friends. Wierd? Lame? I won't accept the assignment of such adjectives to this emotion. I am too busy being thankful that I have been blessed with a family who I am [almost] always sad to part from.
Speaking of parting, the reason I'm writing this is because my amazing younger brother moved to Los Angeles today to pursue his dreams. Good for him! I would never want anything less for him than the whole-hearted pursuit of his passions. However, selfish as it may be, I want that tentacle back! First the sister moves to Atlanta, then the brother moves to LA (taking the parents with him for the time being) and all of a sudden I am left alone. You cannot be an octopus if you are one lone tentacle! Has anyone ever seen such an octopus?! Never! So come back all of you...okay, but don't. Keep roaming and searching and living life to its fullest because I have and will be doing the same, and you wouldn't bring me back either, no matter how much we wish we could all be together.
Like your families. Cherish them. They're God-given and in your life for some reason, regardless of how crazy they are or how crazy they drive you at times.
I leave you guys with a memory from our childhood. One that surely none of you will understand, but this memory has been worth so much to me lately. Big Elephants. A game that we made up that consisted of starting out on opposite sides of the room and stomping toward one another until we collided, landing in a big noisy heap on the ground. Does it get any better than Big Elephants? As we say in our family, "No way, Jose."
I love you, my dear octopus!!