Happy Families

on 08 December 2010

Tolstoy is famous for having said that "All happy families are the same, all unhappy families are uniquely unhappy."  Thus arguing that the only interesting family is an UNhappy family.

I beg to differ.

(Incidentally, I'm not the only one to beg to differ.  There's a whole book out there called Tolstoy Lied--it's quite good, and funny and happy and sad and all the things you want a decent book to be.  But we're not talking about that, we're talking about my odd little happy family.)

I have these moments on a fairly regular basis where I'm doing something totally normal and banal and something happens, some cosmic shift in perspective and I can see my own little family with out-side-my-own-little-family eyes.  And when that I happens, I find myself thinking..."What an odd little family."

For example.

The other day I was making some macaroni and cheese for my Boy. 

(Yes.  I know.  It's not the healthiest thing he could be eating, but he LOVES it and I love him.  And so once a month or every other month I indulge him with a batch of homemade macaroni and cheese.)

So I was making some macaroni and cheese for my Boy and I was stirring the plain white pasta in the boiling water and it was just another quiet evening making a quiet dinner for my quiet little family.  When the cosmic shift happened and I saw myself cutting up velveeta cheese and pouring in ORGANIC milk into the pot of cooked pasta and I thought to myself.

"We really are an odd little family.  Velveeta cheese?  It's not even REAL cheese!  And organic milk?  Was ever such a combination imagined?"

And then I remembered what Tolstoy said.  And I started to examine my little family for signs of unhappiness to equal our signs of individuality.

And you know what?  There really aren't any.  The things we're not crazy about (unemployment, infertility) they're temporary things.  They'll change eventually.  I guess when I think of unhappy families I think of a chronic unhappiness.

And so in closing, I bring myself back to the original point of this post, which was (other than revealing the more embarrassing parts of my pantry) to inquire--what are your happy family eccentricities?


Miss Sarah in Georgia said...

I'll have to think about my happy family eccentricities, but I think you're on to something about chronic unhappiness being the problem with unhappy families. We all have set backs and sad things that happen in families, but the goal is to also recognize the good and happy things that happen. And to forgive, because in my experience, not forgiving is a good way to become chronically unhappy.

the MuLLinS said...

Dance parties. Man, we let it all out! No one should ever see me when I'm in our family-dance-party mode. Ever.

(Sorry = infertility? Didn't know :( Bad friend.)

Sibley Saga .... said...

Today I'm in a foul enough mood, due to a raging barf-virus and zero sleep from a barfing baby, that the only thing I can think of is our family tradition of being magnets for trouble and difficulties.

But maybe I can come up with something better.

My family has this thing about making up words or using words in new and bizarre ways. For example when our family says 'rice cooker' that usually refers to a random tangent.

Yup. Wierd. And I'd need a blog entry to explain that one.

Brett said...

We sing a LOT in my family. I sing real songs. Ben sings made-up songs. And the kids do both. Usually in the same stream of music. We are also very loud in general. I used to think it was just my kids who were loud, but really it's all of us. We're usually having the most fun when we're the loudest. Laughing, tickling, chasing, singing, and being silly in general.