Lindsay’s family on the 70th Anniversary of their farm. (Credit: Bo Fried)
Let’s face it… our families can be downright embarrassing. They are the people that know us well enough to say just the wrong thing at the wrong time and make us blush ten shades of red. That being said, they are also the people that will be there to pick you up when you fall, and to teach you life lessons you wouldn’t learn from anyone else. My family is as weird as the next girls, but here are a few of the reasons I love my weird family.
They are curious: As a kid, I spent a lot of time on plastic factory tours with my grandfather. That’s just what every twelve year-old girl wants to do, right? I fought tooth and nail and thought my grandfather was a horrible person for dragging me to such tedious places. Now that I’m older and my grandfather has passed, I’m so grateful that I had those experiences with him. He had a natural curiosity and wanted to learn anything and everything. By him sharing his curiosity with me, he showed me that he cared enough about me to share these experiences and foster my own curious nature (though I like to think my interests today are slightly more exciting than plastic molding).
They are creative: My grandmother was an incredible artist, and she passed that skill along in one-way or another to all of her children. I remember my family breaking out hand bells after a Thanksgiving Day feast and my aunt conducting an impromptu rendition of “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music. It showed me that letting your weird flag fly can make for the best memories.
They are confident: I don’t remember any one in my family ever being insecure. I think my grandfather must have set the tone for this. He had a practical mentality that didn’t leave room for insecurities. As an awkward teenager I always felt I should point out his embarrassing qualities to him so they could be remedied. When he had a hole in the butt of his pants, I pointed it out to him assuming he would be mortified to know it was there. Instead be brought me an iron-on happy face patch and had me iron it onto his pants. For years he walked around with this happy face on his butt. In his mind the problem was solved. I still love this about him, and other people did too. It was things like this that made him so approachable.
They are generous: Out of all the qualities that my weird family embodies, “generous” is probably the first word I would use to describe them. My grandfather was the kind of man who would stop for hitchhikers. He would be in the line at the grocery store buying food for dinner and get into a conversation with a stranger, just to end up inviting them to dinner. Sometimes that person would end up staying for months or years. He was always willing to reach out a hand to anyone that needed one. He also made sure that his family was taken care of. My aunt once teasingly asked for her weight in butterscotch for her birthday. Sure enough, on the day of her birthday, one hundred pounds of butterscotch was bestowed upon her.
With each generation, families will disperse and we spend less and less time together, but all I can hope for is that we will be able to pass these qualities on to the next generations and hope that someday they appreciate their weird family too.