I miss the way things used to be, back when we were young. When we ran around the yard, tossing footballs and running around bases. When we used to scamper away from our parents, who were gossiping on the porch and sipping from beers and trying to light the barbecue.
I miss how carefree we were, how we would tell our parents we didn’t want to eat yet because that would mean we would have to sit down, and how at the end of the night we would beg for sleepovers because we didn’t want to part ways.
But now we’re like our parents. We’re the ones sipping from beer. Bringing the casseroles. Catching up on life, because we haven’t seen each other in too long, we should do this more often, I hate how we’ve drifted apart.
I understand that we all have our own lives — and I’m happy for us. I’m proud that some of us have babies and some have high paying jobs and some have husbands and wives. I love that everyone seems so happy.
But when I was younger, I thought it would be different. I thought everyone who used to show up at holiday dinners would continue to show. I didn’t realize that some people would move away and some would put family second and some wouldn’t physically be on this earth any longer.
I didn’t realize things would change this much. I didn’t realize I’d have to tell my boyfriend old stories about how funny my aunt is and how much fun my cousin is instead of having him see it for himself, firsthand. I didn’t realize the people I love the most would feel like strangers.
I hate how some of us live in different states. Even more than that, I hate how some of us live thirty minutes away from each other, and only meet up on special occasions. I hate how we don’t make an effort to stay connected.
Sometimes, the holidays aren’t even enough to bring us together, because we have our own families now. We have people we need to see, places we need to go. We might make a phone call or stop by someone’s house for ten minutes before going to the place where we’re spending the rest of the night, but that’s it. That’s all.
I understand we’re adults now. That we all have our own friendships and careers and responsibilities. But it sucks.
It sucks, because I don’t know what some of my cousins majored in. I don’t know the names of their dogs. I don’t know if their relationship is serious or just another fling.
It sucks, because I’ve always considered myself family oriented and now, sometimes, I feel like I barely have a family. I feel like I’m alone.
But I know that’s not the truth. I know we all love each other from afar.
I just wish I could bring back the way things were when we were young. I wish I could call my family members my best friends again. I wish the years didn’t change us.
But it doesn’t matter how many weeks we go without talking, how many months we go without seeing each other. I’m always going to brag about us all. I’m always going to feel like we’re close, even when we’re far.
I’m always going to love this family.