Many have heard the saying “you can’t pick your family” and it is generally in a context when someone has done something that someone doesn’t agree with. I have said such sayings more times than I can possibly count.
My immediate family consists of my mom, brother, sister, boyfriend, and two sons. I come from a Sicilian family on my mother’s side. It saddens me to say that my father and all his family have passed and therefore, I only have my mother’s “family”. As with most stereotypical Italian families, we are loud, we over talk one another, we are loyal, and we hold grudges. There are several family disturbances going on with one person reaching out to someone else in the family to side with them, keeping the feud on going.
One year after I graduated from high school, my cousin and I got into a disagreement. I won’t bore you with all the trivial details; however, I will disclose that the disagreement between she and I ended up causing several members of our family not to talk for over ten years. It was not because she and I brought the others into OUR situation, it was others intruded feeling they needed to come to the defense of their respectful child. What a nightmare!
Today, my family has similar riffs happening. Riffs between siblings, between distant cousins, etc. which if you asked a single person not directly involved in the confrontation, why they were involved, they could not give you an answer, except maybe they heard from someone, something or other and they feel they should stick up for so-and-so.
If you get down to the bones, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade my family for anything. My sister brings daily drama, my mom worries enough for everyone in our family, my brother is a fudge pot stirrer, my boyfriend and boys bring their daily strife’s as do I; however, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade my family for any other family. Each member, whether immediate or extended, have great hearts and intentions. They bring qualities of our ancestors and their ancestors. It is these qualities that make us who we are, and it is what causes the dismay. It is also these qualities that, if asked, these same people would do anything for the other. So, as we say “Non puoi scegliere la tua famiglia, va bene, sono contento della mia” (translated: You can’t pick your family, that’s ok, I’m happy with mine”.