Why are you proud of your family?
When I was a teenager I told my father I felt distant from everyone in my family. “It’s not that I don’t love you,” I said. “I just don’t feel like I’m a part of things, but I also don’t mind.”
“I think that’s ok,” he said. “I think more people feel that way than care to admit it.” The fact that he didn’t say it hurt his feelings is one of the most loving gestures anyone has ever made on my behalf.
I just got around to Awl pal Sarah Miller’s essay about her father and his father and the questions of meaning that swirl around our concepts of family and identity, and if you have not yet read it I strongly urge you to do so, it’s terrific. And I say this as someone who, if told this morning that he was going to read an essay about the questions of meaning that swirl around our concepts of family and identity, would have made the “jerking off” motion so hard and for such a prolonged duration that he would have shattered his scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum and pisiform bones beyond repair. And yet here I am, urging you to read it. Life sometimes still surprises.