Feeling Ornery After Christmas

I come from a large family. I am the oldest of six; four boys and two girls. We are the most mismatched group you could imagine. Despite our differences, we all love one another. We don’t always like one another, some of us go for months at a time without even talking, but we always love one another even if it takes a bit to remember. Honestly, it is a pretty awesome family.

Being that we are such a big family, our gatherings are special. It is hard for us all to come together given our work schedules, school schedules, etc. Our gatherings are loud. You have to jump right on in. They are joyous, often politically incorrect, and always full of love.

Yesterday afternoon, we all started trickling into my parent’s house; my siblings, their spouses, their kids, friends, etc. Each of us had other gatherings and our own families to share the holiday with, so we knew some would be late. We waited patiently for us all to arrive, some more patiently than others, but that is nothing new. One of my brothers never came. My mom had spoken with him earlier; he never indicated not coming. So we continued to wait. Eventually, we went on and celebrated without him and his wife.

Today, my mom spoke with my missing brother. He confessed that they did not come to Christmas because his wife does not like us. She said we do not make her feel welcome. Really, this is crap. We all try to make her feel welcome. They are included in every function. I was even in their wedding just a few months ago. I attribute her attitude to being an only child. She is young. She thinks that the world should revolve around her. That doesn’t fly when you join a big family. You jump in. You share. You let others have the spotlight on occasion.

Apparently, she did feel welcome enough to go to my mom’s house later this week to get her gifts. I guess that way she didn’t have to fool with the rest of us. My mom, however, said no. Go mom! She told my brother that she would meet him this weekend when she comes to town to give him his gifts. I told my mom to hold on to the gift that I had gotten for her. Frankly, I know that it is immature of me, but I am not going to reward her crappy behavior.

I feel like I should be a little upset with myself for feeling so ornery this close to Christmas, but really, I do not. Honestly, I am disappointed in her for not seeing just how awesome we all are. I am even more disappointed in my brother; he could have manned up and came without her, but he chose not to. Regardless, he did not have to share the reason behind their decision with my mother. It hurt her feelings and that will not be tolerated. I feel totally justified in my current state of orneriness.


4 Responses to “Feeling Ornery After Christmas”

  1. December 27, 2012 at 6:51 am

    It isn’t because she is an only child. My daughter is an only child, and so are half of her friends and they LOVE being around big families. It is a real treat for them! I’m sure your sister in law has other reasons – including she is just rude and her parent’s didn’t teach her manners. Good post. I know a lot of families have to deal with situations like yours. It just puts a damper on things for everyone. Good luck!

  2. January 26, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I also come from a big family (4 girls, 3 boys) and we have the same issue only it’s been going on a lot longer. She doesn’t dislike us per se, she’s just not comfortable at our big, boisterous gatherings. At this point, after nearly twenty years of marriage, my sister-in-law usually attends one or two family gathering per year and my brother attends some gatherings without her when they don’t conflict with her family’s gatherings. It’s just one of those battles that my brother didn’t choose to fight. He’s still there when we need him and he makes time for my mom and the rest of us at other times so we accept the situation and his reasoning that the gatherings aren’t fun for him anyway if she’s miserable. Maybe your sis-in-law will get over it (hope so!) but if not maybe you could cut her some slack for your brother’s sake. Just a different perpective 🙂

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