I sat down to think about this prompt and realised an Instagram caption is not enough for the thoughts I have. Here is a ramble about Generations.
The likelihood is that my family will not see another generation. My sister and I will be the end of our line.
Sure, my cousins are having children. And there are second, third and even fourth cousins on my mothers side. But my family?
Well, my sister and I are likely to be it.
I often think that’s a good thing. Given the personality traits and lack of emotion that my immediate family carry, I’m not sure I’d want to bring a new life into that world.
My sister and I are deliberately carving our own paths that do not follow or even come anywhere close to those of our parents. We do not want to get stuck. We do not want to become bitter. We do not want to settle.
Sometimes it feels weird to think about our family ending with us. But it’s also a deliberate choice we’re making right now.
I don’t want the same hardened feelings and distance that was there for us when we were growing up.
The truth is, I don’t know my family. And that’s sad, don’t you think?
It was only after Grampy died that I developed a regular, communicative relationship with my maternal grandmother (or Nan as she is lovingly known – she has forbidden us from ever calling her Grandma!). And a semi-regular relationship with my paternal grandparents only developed once I became an adult and could visit them on my own terms.
I guess I think about it quite a lot now, because it seems to me that so many Germans (or I should say Bavarians) are very big on cross-generational living. Most families seem to live within a few kilometers of each other. Some even live together under one roof!
Of course, there are always exceptions, but from what I see in my everyday life, this cross-generational living paves way for respect and learning from each other. Something that’s not overly common where I come from.
It’s a beautiful way to live, to grow and learn from generation to generation. This closeness is something I’ve never had, but I wish I did.
To bring us out of the melancholy and back into cheer, I will say that it fills me with immense joy knowing my beautiful friends are now creating new generations.
I have at least two births to look forward to this year.
Just because I won’t be adding a new generation to my world doesn’t mean I can’t overflow with happiness at others adding to theirs.