You might have guessed from my metaphor than I'm family-challenged. I think that's right. I think I came by it naturally, but I worked on it too.
I have plenty of family. Well, not by some people's standards. I recently read about a couple - he one of seven siblings, she one of eight - who have ten kids and are working hard to make it in this economy. More power to them and I wish them well. But what looks like few to them, I'm sure, looks like plenty to me.
Let me list my family: a sister and two brothers, a wife and an ex-wife, a daughter and two sons, four granddaughters and a grandson. Most of them are speaking to me.
We're sprinkled over the lower forty-eight: Seattle-ish, Portland-ish, San Francisco-ish, Los Angeles-ish, Denver-ish, El Paso-ish, Knoxville, and one unknown, possibly Albuquerque-ish. Which fits, I've always been part of a close family.
And maybe we're more family-ish than ever. I'd have a helluva time judging. My ex-wife and I are closer, better friends, love each other more than any time since maybe when we were mad for each other, could hardly wait to get married, and oops! Have babies? Was that part of the deal? It was. I tried to be a father by not being like any of the fathers I had known. "Not" doesn't help much. I may have done better than I thought; my ex-wife says so. My sons and daughter don't. But we're more nearly family now than then too. I think.
I love and admire my sons and daughter. I think they know it. I love and admire my grandchildren. I think they know it.