- There is a lot of drinking, especially among certain people (my brother-in-law and brother-and Dad but he wasn't at the barbeque last night). This happens even when it's not a "party" just a family gathering, which says people are looking for a reason to tip a few back. Of course this affects the quality of interaction and feeling of the gathering.
- The depth of conversation is not what I would enjoy. My sister - even though we had a short conversation not long ago about this - didn't ask me anything about things that matter to me, such as dance, theatre, community work, friends, etc. Nobody asks about these things. They'll ask about dating and men sometimes. My brother and I talk about work and family, and he knows about my efforts to become a mother, but with my sister and parents I feel invisible a lot of the time. Or I'm valued for being an Aunt and a creative person, but not for what I'm doing in my life back in the Bay Area. Even if they can't relate, I think they could ask. I ask them about business developments, Junior League, and other things I can't really relate to.
Anyway, it bugs me that I care about this still after all this time. I think when I don't have time to myself to get grounded, then I feel more affected by this stuff. Writing it out is helpful.
But I am loving the time with my niece and nephew (4 and 2 years old). They are so incredibly imaginative and playful. Yesterday/last night we played with bubbles, made rat cupcakes, sang songs, played hide and go seek, etc. I was tired at the end of the night but it was so fun.