Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

I haven't done one of these in a while, so I decided to make one today. I give you the 13 reasons Family can be both fun and torturous.

1) There is no love in the world like a mother's love for a child. Paternal love is a strong thing too, but nothing on earth can compare to the bond of a mother and her child(ren). I have seen a video of a 16 year old mother lift a car with one hand (a Cadillac no less) to retrieve her injured baby that got run over. She lifted the car, pulled the baby out, then slammed the car back down. She did sustain injuries in this incident, namely tearing her shoulder, her bicep and herniated some discs in her back. But she LIFTED A CADILLAC WITH ONE HAND!!! ever notice the guys in "The World's Strongest Man" competition lift some tiny Citroen car, not a Cadillac? Nuff said...

2) Sibling rivalry is on both sides of the equation today. It can be friendly pressure to inspire both siblings to achieve more, or it can be the pushing down on a sibling to make one achieve more than that one. It doesn't matter if they are boys are girls, there is always a rivalry. How the parents let it go on or attempt to control it to a docile level determines how it will play out in the long run.

3) Bonding between siblings is also a very strong thing to witness. No matter how many times I wanted to "ring my sister's neck", if anyone ever hurt her, I was there right away to dole out any retribution. My brothers and I always backed up our sisters, to a fault. No questions asked. That is very tough to mimic, and is amazing to see it in force.

4) There is an amazing tie between parents and children that lasts a lifetime. How often have you seen it in a movie where one parent gets sick. What happens next? The phone call is made to all the children, and they all return home. Movies may try to imitate this bond, but it is a mere portrayal of the true bond. I saw it first hand when my grandfather was dying of cancer. His final day, the call went out. Everyone came to his house. Everyone of his children was there at his side when he passed. On the other side of my family, when my Grandmother had a massive stroke, the call went out to all of the children and grandchildren. We all got to see her before they took her off life support. When she passed, she went with the goodbyes and prayers from all of us.

5) Many people feel that pets are true family too. How long are dogs and cats in our lives? I think it would be a stretch to include fish, but I think some birds are in that group too. How many times have you heard of a person trying to go back into a burning house to go get the dog or cat? Would you do that for a fish? I wouldn't. I wouldn't do it for a dog or cat either, and I adore my pets. I think human life is more important than a pet's life. Some people may disagree, but that is what I think.

6) How neat is the feeling Christmas morning when you are a kid... One of your parents goes down to see if Santa has stopped in, turned on all the lights on the tree, and then either took pictures of you coming down the steps or video of you coming down. How great a feeling was it those days? Or Easter morning? Try to duplicate that elation... I bet you can't!

7) Family portraits: the bane of all families! Who really likes posing in some uncomfortable position just to look pretty for a brief moment? One year, in my younger days, I was experimenting with trying to grow a goatee. (It wasn't pretty, but that is another story.) This happened to be the year we got a family picture done. I was tanned, and being the only one in my family that really does, I stood out some already. Add in the bad facial hair, and to this day the result of the picture is my family teasing me that they got a picture taken with Jose' the gardener. I got ribbed about it just a few months ago, and this picture was taken over 10 years ago!!

8) I personally love being an Uncle. I only have one niece so far, and no nephews yet. Now my sister-in-law is very pregnant right now, so I will have another kid to be an Uncle to. I think it is so neat to hear "Uncle Pat" from my little niece. She will be 2 in June, so it is even more cute now. Now my siblings have 2 kids from us. The littlest one Jackson is only 9 1/2 months old, and just starting to talk. But Patrick is 3, and talks out of control! I love seeing the smile on my brothers and sisters faces when he calls them by name. It makes me so proud to be a father.

9) The instant love you feel when you hold your newborn child in your arms for the first time. Knowing that this little thing in your arms is your flesh and blood, and so dependent on you, is almost overwhelming. I got to carry my son Patrick after he was born into the nursery. I was blessed with the fact that he even smiled at me. I loved it. I have never felt so proud, and so big in my life. I had recently seen the movie "Rocky Balboa" literally the night before he was born. There was a moment in the movie that has Rocky talking to his son, and talking about holding him in the palm of his hand. Before he was born, it was just a moment in a movie. Now after he was born, I saw the movie again, but this time it meant more! I knew then what the emotional feeling he was talking about.

10) The feeling of love I had for my son Patrick is amazing. It seems impossible to duplicate that. Then Jackson was born, and the love was recreated again. It is hard to imagine ever loving something as much, but it is possible. It is real, and unconditional.

11) The love of my wife is an amazing gift to me. I am trying to figure out what lottery I won to deserve it, but it is there and mine. We obviously have our ups and downs, but the love never wavers. I give her all the love that I have to give her, and pray that we'll make it another day, stronger than the day before.

12) We are blessed with amazing examples of love enduring. Both of our parents have been married for over 35 years. Both sets of my grandparents were married over 50 years. Her mother's parents died young unfortunately, but her father's parents were married over 50 years also. We have great examples to live by, and to be proud of.

13) The best and worst thing about families is they are yours for life. They will always be there for you, and then again, they will always be there. They may be embarrassing, they may be overbearing, they may be dressed in a way you might want to avoid being seen with them, but they are family. They can also be amazing, supportive- putting things in order to accommodate a busy schedule for sports or band or anything like that, and they will smile brightest on your wedding day. Or smile the biggest when they hold their grandchild or niece or nephew. The most awesome moment of my life so far, besides witnessing the birth of both my boys, was making the phone calls after, to tell the family of the births. Even now, I am tearing up remembering how proud I was, how amazing a feeling it was. I will never be able to have that feeling again... unless we have more kids!


  1. Very nice! I'm reminded that my parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Showing up to surprise them made my mother burst into tears. I'm really glad I crawled out of my shell for a change.

  2. What a lovely tribute. I LOFF MAH BRUDDA!

  3. That is a great list! I'm an only child... but the rest resonated with me for sure!

  4. That was nice, Pat. I chuckled at the last one.

  5. What a great tribute to your family, and families in general. I feel very fortunate to be close to my family. I get to watch my cousins Christopher and Lauren exploring their own sibling relationship, and it's a real treat.