Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Unconventional Family

Today is my baby brother's 23rd birthday. Next week, my oldest brother will turn 50.

My family is, shall we say, unconventional. I know that in today's world there are probably lots of other families like mine out there. But the fact is, I really don't personally know many.

My dad married his first wife when he was quite young. They had three children together, two boys and one girl. After they divorced, he married two more times but had no children. (I never met wives #2 or 3.) My mom was his fourth wife, and together they had my sister and me. With his fifth and current wife, my dad has one son.

In addition, my mom also remarried after my parents' divorce. She has one son with my stepdad. That makes me one of seven children between my two parents combined.

Most people who know me find this confusing, and I can see why. I have 4 half-brothers, 1 half-sister, and 1 full sister. When I was growing up, most of my friends were perplexed when I mentioned my other siblings besides the two that lived at my house. My friends never really met the other siblings, and probably only ever saw them in person at my graduation and my wedding. But they were and still are a part of my life.

My dad's 3 oldest children always lived with their mom. They did often come to visit us when my parents were married. We saw our sister most often. She and my mom were very close and she loved playing with my sister, Connie, and me. She was a young teenager when we were toddlers. We don't see each other as often as we'd like, but we keep in touch regularly with phone calls and text messages. She has two grown daughters now who are both married with their own children! Yes, this makes me a great-aunt. I've never been quite as close with my 3 half-brothers on my dad's side as I am with my half-sister.

On my mom's side, though, it was different. My mom and stepdad had my youngest brother when I was almost 10 years old. Connie and I were so excited to have a baby in the house! The three of us grew up together, but my brother was only 8 years old when I left for college. Sometimes I think I've kept him frozen at that age in my mind. It is so hard for me to believe that today he is 23!

This weekend we will go to Louisiana, as we do every October, to celebrate our family birthdays this month. My little brother, my husband, and my sister's husband all have birthdays this month. Included in our party every year is my sister's ex-boyfriend, who is just like part of the family. We have celebrated together this way every year for as long as I can remember. Yes, this is a bit unconventional, too! He celebrates with us each October and will be there this weekend with his girlfriend, who seems to fit right in as well.

We had hoped to see all of our siblings this weekend. There was supposed to be a birthday party for my oldest brother's 50th, but we just found out that he has the flu. It is disappointing because we rarely celebrate holidays or birthdays with that side of the family.

We're very much looking forward to our traditional birthday celebration this weekend! I know it is an unconventional family, but it's the only one I've ever known. Sure, I sometimes wish it could be a little less complicated. But I love my family!

My little brother and me in 2008


Michelle said...

That sounds a lot like my hubby's family. He has2 half sisters, 2 half brothers, 1 brother, 1 sister, 1 step brother and 3 step sisters. It is very confusing. I hope you have fun!

A said...

Wow, I lost track :) But I think it is really neat that there is so much beautiful unusual-ness to your family!! It is really neat how members who aren't traditionally close to one another actually are close and included!!

Kathryn said...

My youngest sister was 8 when i moved away, & my mother (who is rather strange) never let her spend much time with me thereafter.

My husband's family is rather like this. He's stepbrothers, a stepsister, & most of his cousins married women who already had children so the whole family is rather patchwork. It works well for them, tho i kind of dread a later date where "estates" will have to be divided. That can get so ugly.

How wonderful your family gets together like this! :)

gg said...

that's what makes you so great!!!

BTW, what does your shirt say?

Stacey said...

Thanks, gg!
It says "i heart mom." The pic was taken Mother's Day weekend.


twondra said...

I hope you have fun! Sounds like a fun family even if it is unconventional. :)

Connie said...

Great post, Stace. You would've surely blown everyone's minds if you'd mentioned the step brothers and sisters...Do we even know about all of them? :) Can't wait to see you! XOXO

prayerfuljourney said...

I love my family too and sometimes I get a weird look when I talk about how my parents are still together and will be celebrating 50 years of marriage (Lord willing) next year. I say "Lord Willing" for they are older and I pray they stay healthy to be able to celebrate such a milestone. In my classes the question comes up frequently "What is family?". I bet we'd all have a different definition. Thanks for sharing with us your family and enjoy celebrating everyone's bday. Sometimes I wish my family would do that...but we are spread out all over the country.

Sharon said...

Wow, my head is spinning! Have a great weekend!

Jenn said...

Sounds like my poor children who have 4 half brothers/sisters and 4 stepbrothers. Anyway, I wasn't confused because I grew up with ya so that was one thing I could follow...haha! Hope y'all have wonderful partying time this weekend! :)

Melody said...

Have fun this weekend! That cracks me up that the ex-boyfriend's girlfriend comes too. That is so funny. Unconventional can be really cool but I can see where your friends might have been confused growing up. Hope you guys have a great time celebrating.

Anonymous said...

I think it's awesome that your family has so many different people and everyone makes it work and can get along. I have ONE sister and we don't even like each other that much.

Have fun with your family visit!

Sunny said...

I have a weird family story too - it's so complicated that it sounds too creepy to tell most people. Nothing funny thought. I'll explain some other time. Hope you had fun with your fam!