La Familia

I’ve missed a couple of days because we went out of town to see the other side of the family (my hubby’s side). They live all over the place but somehow manage to get together every year for the holidays. And, there’s A LOT of them. Let’s see, my hubby is the eldest of NINE. His father is the eldest of seven and I would say that they have at least six kids each. So there’s probably about FORTY grandkids and maybe six great-grandkids on the dad’s side alone (unfortunately due to reasons unknown to me, we don’t see my mother-in-law’s family) . Whew! Needless to say, we’re talking small-town here. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but you just don’t see a lot of really big families in the city. I try, but I can’t remember everyone’s name. And, there seems to be a new addition every year. Just found out that one of my hubby’s uncles is expecting three more grandkids this spring. When it rains…

I remember the first time my hubby told me how many siblings he had. My jaw must have been on the floor because he laughed and said it was because his dad wanted a baseball team. My own family isn’t small either (I’m the eldest of four) but NINE! Talk about breeders.

I grew up in the city. My husband grew up in a really small town (he is a self-professed hick). So meeting each others’ families for the first time was interesting. The first time I met his family, I was so nervous that I drank a whole bottle of his grandpa’s homemade wine and passed out in the truck. Great first impression. They laughed and said that I needed to pace myself more as these get-togethers were marathons. Bless their hearts.

There were a few awkward moments in the beginning. When my hubby’s family gets together… let’s just say that I’m the only visibly ethnic person in the room. So I kind of stand out at family functions. I’ve had to deal with a couple of unusual scenarios. Keep in mind that this was about 16 years ago.

(This was said to my hubby) Oh, we hear that your that your girlfriend is Filipino. We have a Filipino foster child. We were wondering if your girlfriend was a foster child.

I’ve been trying to get in touch with this nun in the Philippines. I don’t know her last name or what city she’s in. Do you know how I could a hold of her? (Btw, I was born in Canada and there are millions of people in the Philippines.)

She’s a really good dancer. She must dance in the city.

I was not bothered. I didn’t see it as racism or ignorance. They were simply unaware. It’s a lot better now since technology is shrinking our world and they’ve all become a little more web-savvy. But, it did embarrass my hubby to no end.

Strangely enough, when my hubby met my side of the family, there were no awkward situations like that. I guess it’s because our area is so culturally diverse. No one batted an eye. The joke is that he’s more Filipino than I am since he’s a nurse. Hey, you’ve got to admit, there are A LOT of Filipino nurses out there. I’m not offended so neither should you be .

So, what do my husband and I have in common? Besides similar tastes in music, a love of hockey, and a partiality towards beer – we love our families. They may be crazy but we can’t order another. Despite our obvious differences, we’ve made it work – into one huge dysfunctional clan. Pass the wine.



About myra36

parent, housewife, advocate, diva
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