What is “normal” behavior? I thought I knew but now I’m not so sure.
My daughter is caught in the midst of a family battle between her in-laws after the death of the patriarch. The jockeying for power, money, personal property and control is mind boggling.
She asked “What is wrong with these people? This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Family takes care of each other. Family is there for you when no one else is. It’s not normal.”
And that got me to thinking . . .
I watched the same thing take place in my mother’s family after her father’s death. Again after my father’s death. During multiple friends and family’s loss of loved ones. So maybe the way I raised my children is not “normal”. For that, I’m glad.
I was a single mother for most of their youth and teenage years. I didn’t have a lot in the way of income and my ex’s new wife made sure to delay the measly $300 a month child support every chance she could. The only person who really had our backs was my widowed mother and I had to leave her behind to escape the predatory actions of my ex and his family who viewed our children as “property” that they lost.
It was me and the kids against the world. We called ourselves the “Three Musketeers, one for all and all for one.” That motto turned into a way of life that even now governs our actions.
We are all in a much better place today. The kids are married and their spouses are an extension of our family. I love them as my own. Everyone is doing well. I’m remarried to a man who loves the kids and grandkids as much as me. We all live in different states and gather from time to time, enjoying each other’s company. But when life throws one of us a curve ball, we rally to help with no expectation of gain or praise.
To me that is normal. To the rest of the world . . . maybe not.