Seeing my cousin Sherri yesterday at the baby shower prompted me to reminisce with her about the good ol' days when we were children, getting together almost every Easter and 4th of July with the extended family, and always on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Regardless of family feuding or daily dysfunctional, most of us were good Christian folk that enjoyed the coming together.
And then we grew up. The end.
Seriously, when I started college was one of the last times any semblance of extended family got together for a holiday. Sociologists, theologians and cultural anthropologists could give me explanations as to why these familial shifts and rifts occur, but it's the Sabbath and I really don't want to do any research today.
No, today I only want to speak colloquially writing. One thing that's been clear over the years is the fact that the social glue that holds families together is maternal. It may be paternal world when it comes to running it, but it's the Mama Bear who keeps the family together. Or not.
Men for the most part don't keep the home fires burning. Most of the time they're focused on protecting and providing for the family (or sadly not) – but not about sending the birthday cards or organizing the play dates or planning the holiday parties or running the day-to-day family operations or nurturing the broader bonds of family and friends. Women have the vision and heart for unity and longevity. Why aren't there more women CEO's or heads of state?
These are of course generalizations but there is a lot of truth to families sticking together because of the women around the world. I harbor no ill will against my extended family of lore, but yet the last time I saw most of my cousins and their families in one setting was my grandmother's funeral years ago. Before that it was my aunt's funeral.
Death and taxes, eh guys? And we wonder why we die younger and alone more often than women (besides other factors of course).
Mama A and Baby B will get more from me, though. That's for sure.