How to build a family

"high-five" © Martin Fisch, 2012. CC BY-SA 2.0.
high-five” © Martin Fisch, 2012. CC BY-SA 2.0.

My father knows how to hold a silence—just like his brother did—with tenderness and purpose. I come from a long line of gentlemen whose brains are always churning. Careful with each word they choose. They all share the same quiet, but ever-present engagement and a slow southern saunter. Their toes turn out and their chests lift up.

My mother overflows with excitement easy. An enthusiasm she shares with her sisters. All the women in my family are passionate in everything they do and quick to a plethora of emotions. We laugh easy, hurt with deep intensity, and understand the importance of hugs. Both how to give them well and with what frequency.

My parents bore and raised three children. Each a different combination of mom and dad’s features, personalities, and habits. All with the same closed-eyes smile and loud laugh that’s often recognized in crowded theaters. But none with the same story.

There are endless ways to combine the same ingredients and get completely different things. New interpretations and varied possibilities. Tied together only by chance. Bound forever by the arbitrary and miraculous happenstance that brought my parents together and us into existence.

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