Been a busy week or two and just had a bit of time to blog sitting in traffic on the way back from Las Vegas. (Don’t worry, I’m not driving. No laws were broken in the making of this blog.)
Between Jenn getting married and Ronda’s fight, it has been a lot of time with family and friends. Here is one of my pet peeves – few things irritate me more than when people say,
“Oh, your daughter is just like family to me.”
Funny coincidence here, they only say this about my daughter who is getting rich and famous, not my other equally wonderful daughters. Oh, and by the way, Ronda had a lot less “family” when she was working as a bartender.
As the official word-definer of this blog, let me tell you what family means:
These are the people who are around your whole life. You don’t always have to like them, but you have to love them. Relationships with your family are a two-way street. Sometimes you make sacrifices for them and sometimes they do things for you.
For example, when Jenn finished elementary school, she was accepted at two high schools, one much more expensive than the other. I told her that between Maria at NYU, Julia’s nanny and Ronda’s travel for competition, there was not a lot of spare money. If she chose Marymount, we wouldn’t be having a lot of trips to Disneyland, dinners out or vacations for the next four years. Jenn said she did not want to go that badly. (Of course, for the next ten years she brought up how it was all my fault – until she got her masters from USC at 24 and decided perhaps she was not so academically stunted after all.)
If Ronda had been an only child, I could have traveled around the world with her to her judo camps and competitions, but because I had three other children to support by running a business, that was not feasible and she ended up moving to Boston at 16.
Shared sacrifice. People in your family are with you through good times and bad. Sometimes you have to give up what you want to help them and other times it’s their turn.
These people who popped up in the past couple of years who are “oh so willing to help” – what kind of help are they, picking up her tickets for some premiere so they can all go hang out and get their pictures taken?
It was the same thing when Ronda was in judo. So many people told my husband, “She’s just like a daughter to me,” that he asked me if I thought any of them would be willing to pay the insurance bill.
A big part of being family is a shared history. People who claim to be family say, “I would do anything for your daughter.” People who aren’t family don’t say what they would do because they already have done.
While it is true that family will love you no matter what, it is also true that your family are the people who will tell you that you are an unmitigated ass when the situation warrants. (For the record, none of my children are currently behaving like an ass, this is just noted for past - and future –reference.)
As I said, that whole claiming to be family thing really pisses me off. As Shakespeare said, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”
Or, as I say, “I’ll bet Wayne Gretzky doesn’t go around telling people he’s a good hockey player.”
Another part of a family is that you are always on the same side. Jim Pedro, Sr. used to tell me that he would back whoever was right, even if it was against his own son and I would tell him that I knew that I would not. No matter what one of my children did, I would side with them.
It’s funny because the girls used to joke that I was so biased that if they punched someone in the face I would say,
“The nerve of them, hurting your hand with their face.”
Last night, Ronda was in a fight where she punched Alexis Davis so hard so many times that she busted up her hand and needed nine stitches in it. When the doctors were checking it, Maria and I were both upset said,
“That girl hurt Ronda’s hand, let’s go get her and beat her up.”
Maria wisely pointed out, though, that Ronda already had (and Alexis actually seems to be a very nice person).