Keeping track of a lot of family members’ birthdays and anniversaries is really hard. Back during the breakdown days I basically gave up on trying to be a good family member, and lost a lot of respect in the process. Now I’m slowly trying to build myself back up to the functioning adult family human that remembers birthdays and *gulp* calls people now and then. (I hate the phone. Hate hate hate.)
My mum and dad divorced when I was around 1 1/2 years old. They’re families were already decently sized with countless cousins on each side and two uncles and two grandparents on each side. Great aunts, great grandparents, second cousins twice removed (is that a thing? Probably is in my family).
Then both Mom and Dad remarried. Dad when I was six to my stepmom with a HUGE family, and Mom to my stepdad when I was 8. However they had been dating since before I turned 3 so I was comfortable around his family from an early age. I basically grew up with three sets of grandparents and families. His with another set of countless cousins. Most of those cousins on my stepdad’s side don’t even live in the United States, but Canada. I haven’t even met a good number of them.
I grew up with all of these families to call my own. Most of the stepfamilies I never really considered to be stepfamilies. They’re just my cousins, grandpa, aunts, etc. When I was little I used to get big birthday cards from each family and the bundles, because I was little, I think. I’ve since severed those ties because I was pathetic and didn’t care about consequences or people’s feelings. Now I’m desperately trying to be a good family member again.
One of my more favored lists is the one I keep for birthdays and anniversaries. I’m running out of room. Every few months or so I realize I have to add a new one that I forgot, and then I have to send a card for that birthday or anniversary. Not only do I have to worry about writing the (unfortunately) generic “Miss you!” message but I have to keep track of addresses. Did you know it’s embarrassing asking for addresses over facebook because you don’t have their phone number or email?
Those high school years were a time for me to grow as a human, and instead I messed up a lot of things that may seem trivial to most, but I’m really bothered by it. I want to have strong family values and ties, I just don’t know how to get back to where I was. Especially because I hate phone calls. Grandparents love phone calls. I have to call the dentist today. I hate it.