Friday, October 23, 2015

Family Fussing

As mentioned before, I'm in Michigan, checking on The Mama. Autumn colors here are lovely, though starting to fade...we've had some good days, driving around, stopping to eat, and visiting our two favorite places: fabric and thrift shops. (Got some good stuff, too.)

The Mama's health is not as bad as I feared. For one thing, she feels well enough to gripe about some of my cousins' attitudes and actions (stupid ones, she says). About this person who's an idiot, or that person who Should Have Known that if they did -----, then No Good Would Come of It.

I can only wonder what she'll say about us, after I go home. 

I come from a very opinionated family. Ever since I can remember, they've delighted in telling everyone else not only what to do -- but how to do it. The family line is chockful of teachers, writers, preachers, missionaries and other sorts, all big commuicators -- and not afraid to do so.

My dad dealt with this flurry of expression the wisest way:  by saying nothing. (Or very little.) Interestingly, he was also considered one of the wisest elders in the clan.

I have the bad habit of trying to play peacemaker -- I'll try to get the warring sides to talk to each other, without me in between. The Brick is famous for this, too. When you have people marching up to give their side of the story, you often have no choice.

Or I'll defend whatever person is being talked about. And I'll do it, whether I agree with that person's actions or not. It may be a kneejerk reaction to the trashtalk...or something else.There have been a number of times in my professional life that was my job -- to represent an individual or group, and act on their behalf. Whether I was 100% in agreement with them or not was irrelevant. It was what I'd been elected to do.

This drives The Mama crazy. So maybe that's why I do it, to keep my mom off-balance. Not that every kid in the universe (our daughters included) does this as a hobby...

The fall leaves continue to drift down, and the skies are overcast. Typical Michigan weather. I just have a little more time here to spend with The Mama, my brother and his family. Can I do it -- can I keep my mouth shut while they dither on? Can I behave? Can I restrain myself from pontificating and offering well-meant-but-uninvited advice?

 I am going to practice hard to take my dad's approach. Stay tuned.

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