Saturday, December 1, 2012

mi familia es muy especial...y muy loca tambien

Family makes you crazy.

They do this for no other reason than because they can.

In fact, this truth may very well be the most tauntingly spoken rule of families.

At the end of the day, after any thoughtless comments, poor decisions, judgmental words and actions, or face-palm shenanigans, we must still love the ones behind those less-than-admirable enterprises.

You don't get to disown your crazy. I think maybe Jesus said that.

Maybe it's for self-preservation. We love and forgive, enable and excuse because we know that the same blood running through the veins of the ones calling those shots also runs through us. And on the off-chance that the blood in our veins is what causes those crazy things, we need that scapegoat should we ever lose control of our better senses.

In a trial situation:

Prosecutor: But she blah-blah-blah'd.
Defense Attorney: I'm sorry, have you met the girl's family? Here, watch these home movies.
Judge: Case dismissed. You are free to go with the court's apologies.

You can't argue with evidence of dysfunctional family moments.

Of course, outside of blame shifting activities, families offer a safe place. With them we may take off our shoes of sanity and wiggle our crazy toes.

We believe this because we know what family get-togethers can be like. During these times our insides recognize their insides. We are kindred spirits. Among them we may say crazy things. We trust them enough to bare sides of our souls otherwise reserved only for those we have explicitly invited beyond the second veil.

We are protected by the love rule.

I guess I'm thinking of this because my family is approaching a milestone. Tomorrow, we celebrate 50 years of marriage for my mom's parents. This has inspired much preparation and communication. Probably more than we normally have.

We've been calling, texting, dropping in on each other. We had a meeting of the five seven families. I was consigliere. Nobody except my father understood me when I said this. I said it more than once. I just wanted to be Tom Hagan. I think Robert Duvall portrayed him with a quiet dignity. And if you don't understand my reference with all these hints, then you need a lesson in classic cinema. But that aside, during my time as consigliere, I learned that if you put an authoritative tone in your voice, people will listen to you.

This is a valuable tool for my family.

It is valuable because we are loud. We are thirty, loud, hungry Mexicans. We will talk over each other. We will hunger. Then we will eat. And when we are done eating, we will talk over each other again. We will joke. We will make fun of each other. We will bring up old embarrassing stories. We will pry. We will complain. We will judge. We will say many inappropriate things. We will offer advice where it was not requested. We will insist that we know best. We will stay too late and eat too much and do many things that break all kinds of social norms simply because we can.

But we love each other. And not only in spite of these things but also for these things. Maybe because we are proud that we can love each other in spite of these things. It's a crowning achievement.

Truth be told, sometimes the "you-have-to-love-those-people-sharing-your-last-name" rule can be incredibly frustrating. Family will stare you in the face, stick out their tongues and make donkey ears at you. Just because they can. But it's never done with malice. And when you need them, they'll be there. When life's not so great, they'll wrap their arms around you and tell you that it's okay. Their irritation with you will fade faster than it does with others. They will help you when you need it. They will stand beside you on principle. They will do little things for you simply because they remember that you happen to like them. They will make you smile in spite of yourself and make you laugh until your stomach hurts and you can't breathe. They will come to you for advice because they trust you. They will share their secrets and hopes.They will push you to be better. They will foster your dreams. They may not always hold your hand all the way through it, but they'll believe that you can do something if you want to do it. Because why shouldn't you be able to? We share the same blood. And if the same kind of crazy flows through our veins, then so do the same abilities. So if one person believes they could do it, everyone else can, too.

I'm proud tomorrow to celebrate all of the things that family means with the people who kicked it off - my grandparents. My grandparents who are the proud owners of seven children, twelve grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and a number of other husbands, wives, and fiances who love them as their own. I'm proud to celebrate their 50 long years of marriage. The years spent raising a bunch of kids on not a bunch of money. The years spent ministering and pastoring and preaching and leaning on each other and God. The years spent getting through all the craziness that life threw at them and learning lessons they probably never thought they'd have to learn. And all those years of love. More than anything all those years of love.

Over time, I've learned a lot of things from my family. One of those things is that being a Rodriguez means that you will most likely fall prey to a particular kind of weight gain and end up a certain shape if you're not careful.

One of the more important things I've learned from them is this: Family love starts out as a love that you feel because you're supposed to. But it's a love that stays love because it's real.

Family blessings tree with everyone's fingerprints.

"Blessings on all who reverence and trust the Lord - on all who obey him! Their reward shall be prosperity and happiness. Your wife shall be contented in your home. And look at all those children! There they sit around the dinner table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees. That is God's reward to those who reverence and trust him. May the Lord continually bless you with heaven's blessings as well as with human joys. May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. And may God bless Israel!" - Psalms 128

No comments:

Post a Comment