Family, whether it’s biological, adopted, or chosen is the one “thing” that I can count on in my life – that and my two-year old escaping from our house, and striping naked, can surely count on that, but family most definitely supersedes most things. Nevertheless, to me, family is the greatest thing in the world. My definition of family is broad (don’t say it, my ass is flat, much like an old Jewish man, no offense meant, it’s the truth!):
Fam.i.ly [fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] noun, plural-lies, adjective – a unit of individuals either descendents of Vincent and Concetta Pitta, Fanny Spadaro or married into (either by herself, her husband, her sisters, whomever really) or chosen by Deanna herself, individuals that love, support, and care for Deanna, her family, her children without fail or judgment, laugh at her jokes, reads this blog, and in general loves her, and her family unconditionally and vice versa.
What brings me to a post like this? As always, “people”, “loved ones”, “things” we treasure most are usually valued when 1) they are gone, moved or have unfortunately passed away or 2) when you really need something. For me, it was the latter. Thank God no one left me, I’d find them wherever they were, even in heaven and kick their sorry ass!
Ya see, my hubby and I had plans to embark on a Road Relay – 24 hours of running, with the Ragnar Relay Series. The babysitting that we lined up pulled out – not sure why, could possibly be that they found out that the two year old jumped out of our house window, not that should scare anyone nevertheless, they just couldn’t do it. This happened three weeks before the event. Dying to run 19 miles with no sleep, or proper nutrition and the chance that I’d get to poop in the woods during my first 8 mile run was so overwhelmingly exciting that I exhausted every babysitting avenue that I had, and then when nothing came up, I tried soliciting new babysitters. Not sure if the word leaked out that there was the chance of being tied up, tarred and feathered by my two-year old, ‘cause no one bit the bait! A week before the event, I thought I’d give it one more shot, just call me persistent and dedicated or maybe I just like pooping in the woods! Nevertheless, it was more like the thought of dragging two kids on an overnight relay was paralyzing and even more exhausting than running itself. My final attempt was an email to some family and friends asking if they knew of anyone that could help, perhaps they knew a bloated college student that needed to shed the freshman, sophomore, hell any sort of poundage chasing after two very active boys. I figured I could test them out during the week, and if they weren’t too scared pay them arm and a leg to watch my kids for 12 hours.
And then IT happened, the heavens opened and angels came down (cue tampon commercial music) ah, hell, the phone just rang. I saw the caller-id, picked it up and heard “I am headed out to Home Depot, and I was wondering if your son was allergic to duck-tape”. After I spit out my water from laughing so hard, I got into in-depth conversation with my cousins Donna and Ed about this babysitting gig. We discussed why they would embark on this type of adventure, thanking them profusely, debating whether or not I trusted the two-year old – the thought of my cousin’s pool and the body of water that they live on haunted me, and lastly if I had coverage for the first two days of the race. After a few days of debating with myself, my parents, my husband, and anyone else that would listen, we got the call that my wonderful mother-in-law was able to watch the little guys for two of the three days, dedicated to pooping in the woods, I threw-caution to the wind, called my cousins and signed them up for what I thought could possibly be the adventure of their lifetime. I figured, they had two smart able bodied kids that could run my little buggers down, and that my little guys are so cute the chances of them being voluntarily thrown into the water was slim to none, plus I was counting on some really good stories!
12 hours, yes, 12 hours of babysitting is what my cousins endured, and not one good story about the little bugger. I was expecting at least on striptease, and at the very least a “Jesus Christ” to fly out of his mouth a few times. I guess like “they” always say, your children usually behave better when you’re not around. That little fucker just makes me look like an ass on a daily basis, damn him but Thank the Sweet Lord in Heaven!
Nonetheless, these cousins, whom I love dearly with all my heart (and not because they took my kids) were the last people on earth that I thought would volunteer to assist us. I was in awe and so grateful, I just never saw it coming, I definitely chuckled a little as the two year old is a handful and half, but more than that I was very appreciative!
This is exactly what family is all about – coming to your aid, helping, caring, loving no matter what – no matter how much time has passed, no matter how much they’ve pissed you off, perhaps you just slammed the phone down on your “family”, maybe someone gave your son a french fry without your consent, perhaps Aunt Susie and Uncle Bob pinched Grammy’s heirloom tablecloth – does it matter? Whether it’s the family you were born into, adopted into or chosen, it’s all you have. ALL you HAVE. It’s your family man, you go, you answer the call (whatever the call, except to help move, no one should answer that call) – and then afterwards you put exlax in their coffee. Revenge, is a totally different story.
It’s Family! Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu
The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going. ~ George Carlin
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard
At the end of the day, a loving family should find everything forgivable. ~-Mark V. Olsen and Will Sheffer
Govern a family as you would cook a small fish – very gently. ~-Chinese Proverb
There is no such thing as fun for the whole family. ~ Jerry Seinfeld