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Family dynamics... How people raised by the same parents can be so different?

Rags's picture

Lots of interesting stuff going on in Rags' world.   My company just went through an overhead slashing re-organization and my role was eliminated.  So... I am knee deep in a new job search.  The company eliminated several vice presidencies, demoted several executives and abandoned the strategic direction that I was hired to lead.

I am not overly concerned about the situation though our contingency fund has been significantly reduced as we have re-established ourselves in the States after 7 years overseas. We just listed the home we have owned for nearly 10 year.  We have been contemplating selling it for a while now but with the loss of 3/4 of our income it is time.  There is no risk to our new home since my bride's career has been re-established nicely.  She is doing great and after only 9mos she is being discussed as a potential partner in the CPA firm she joined.

I am seriously considering becomming a kept man!  Of course she has other ideas. Damn it!

I have had a couple of interviews since March 1 and my phone is blowing up with calls from recruiters and former colleagues.   The challenge will be staying were we are geographically in order to nurture my brides career while continuing the push to finish funding our retirement.  I may have to do the international rotational assignment thing but that is neither my preference nor my bride's.

Now for the family dynamic part of this blog.

My dad called last week and asked me to come home (mom and dad's is always home for all of the Rags clan including the GKids).  My brother was coming in for 4 days for business meetings in the US.  This is the first time it has been just mom, dad, baby bro and I since 2010 when he and I flew in to help with mom's recovery from knee surgery.  We had a great time.  It was good to have a few days without wives and kids for the four of us to just enjoy time together.

Dad came down to pick me up and he and I had a half day road trip together.  DW and I have only one car since my former compensation included a company car.  So I have to bum rides or use the car.  I have been dropping DW at work and picking her up.  That works but obviously not for long-ish road trips.

Dad is Mr. RoadTrip and so I am. We had our usual good time together.  An interesting element of our drive was that dad went pretty deep regarding his and mom's advancing age and that they probably have no more than about 15 more years.  Dad is 76 and mom is 74.  Both are in great health. Dad is a work out hound who puts in 6 days a week of intense working out. The lady's in mom's family have a long history of living well into their 90s with a couple making it to the 99-102 age range. A bit of a sobering conversation but... handled with dad's usual humor.

So... we picked up my brother from the airport a few hours after we arrived.   We had a great visit.  We did break away from mom and dad to go to dinner with my niece.  She is my brother's eldest of 3.   A true beauty, with brains, and a thriving career two years after graduating with her BBA.  She is my brother's wild child and was a party girl for her first two years of university.  She did finally settle down and is now in a strong relationship with a young man of character with a thriving career of his own.  They are setting up an apartment that just leased together. He wants to get married but is honoring her request to wait awhile.  

Now for the part of the blog regarding how people raised by the same parents can be so different.  Mom, dad, my brother, and I have always been very close.  My parents making their lives and careers overseas made the family home rather than any particular physical location.  This was the case until my brother married. At that point he pretty much separated and isolated himself from mom, dad and I.  He is an absorber and not much of a communicator.  Periodically he would seek us out for a visit.  He visits, does not say much, and recharges.  Just being together is what he seeks.  

On the other hand I am involved.  My parents and I talk several times a week.  We see each other fairly regularly. Even when either they or my wife and I were living overseas.  We have always made it a point to visit my parents several times a year or they visit us.

My parents regularly express frustration with the lack of communication or interface with my brother.  We all remain close but the effort stay connected is predominantly made by mom, dad and I and far less so by my brother.

Interestingly my niece (25) and eldest nephew (22) visit and hang out with my parents far more than their mom and dad do.  My youngest nephew (17) is TBD as far as where he will land regarding interface with the rest of the family.

My son (SS-26) is my parents eldest GK and is much more like his uncle than he is me.   He makes a periodic  effort but it is often like pulling teeth to get him to communicate.  

It is interesting that the kids raised by the brother that does not communicate are far more connected than the kid that was raised by the brother that is very connected.

The love and connection in the Rags clan is strong. But... communication is frustratingly inconsistent depending on which clan member is being discussed.

Time for an interview.

Take care STalkers.