Sunday, February 05, 2006

Family

A happy family is but an earlier heaven. ~ George
Bernard
Shaw


No matter what I go through, it's great knowing that my family always has my back. If I could come back as a different person, in another life, I would still pick the family that I have right now.

For starters, my dad is the coolest dad ever. I know that everyone thinks their dad is the best but seriously, mine is. When we were kids, all our friends would come by to our house on the weekends, and just chill out. He tells the funniest stories, and we all will just sit around listening to him, re-enacting history and making us all laugh. Other times, he would bring out the guitar...My dad can play any song from Yankee Doodle to old time cultural tunes. He is gregarious, effusive and very friendly. Most of our friends were in awe of him and they totally respected his wishes. His word was law...unless my mom had her way. Although from the old school, he loves us all deeply and is never afraid to show it. Hugs, kisses and kind words were the norm in our household, mainly because of my effusive father. He can even be at times more emotional than my mom! However, noone could ever think he was a pushover. Nothing escapes my dad's notice, and paired with my mom, they could sniff out our lies before we even fully formulated them. Negative traits: He can't say no to anyone, spreads himself thin, and so ends up taking too many responsibilities and has too much on his plate. This is where Mother dearest comes in and straightens everything out!

My mom...is an absolute genius in the kitchen. Even with a bare pantry, she could whip up delectable dishes that had people all at our place trying to get some tasty meals. She was always hospitable, very generous and made everyone feel comfortable. You could see her behind the scenes, teaching us how to be 'proper hostesses' and showing us by example how to make everyone feel welcome. My dad was the entertainer, and she was the hospitality service. She had her way with my dad though, knew how to manage him (a trick noone else can master!), and he loves her so dearly that he can't deny her a thing. Negative traits: Hmmm, she has none. Yep, my mom is a paragon of virtues. The only thing I can think of is that sometimes she is too nice, if that is possible.

My older sister (pictured in the middle)...is quiet at first, but she appraises the conversation with a critical eye. When she does enter the conversation, it's usually to articulate a point of view that we hadn't thought about before. She could see both sides of the fence, and also see the motivation and psychology behind the actions. Yeah, now she is counselor/psychologist just like my mom. Negative traits: She psychoanalyzes everyone and everything all the time. It's second nature to her and we are all at her mercy!

Then there is my brother...the BIG Brother, who felt it was his place to put the young pups sniffing around his sisters in their place. With my bro around, there was pretty much no hanky panky, many guys who got past the awe of dating one of my father's daughters found themselves having to contend with him. We trained him well, he knows how to cook, manage the home and will make someone a really great husband. Negative traits: He is too handsome and charming for his own good. I can't even count how many hearts he has broken inadvertantly in his odd 27 years on this earth.

Of course, I was next, mostly in the background, just watching everything. Or upstairs reading a book. I used to be more introverted, but I guess college brought out the Vixen in me. Negative traits: I'm sure you know most of them already. I'm narcisstic, vain and very proud. And those are the relatively not as bad negative traits.

Right after me, is my sister henceforth known as the Lawyer. She is just a year younger than me, utterly charming, very feisty and argumentative. She loves debating, and can pick any issue and turn it into a flaming discussion. Most of the conversations either revolved around a debate, or listening to one of her or my dad's stories. They both have that amazing talent of telling a story, that puts the listener right in the thick of the action. Over the years, she has mellowed a lot, but still has the fires simmering underneath all that maturing. It just takes the right prodding to bring it out...and I excel at that:) She is very protective of her family and has gotten into alot of fights when we where younger, just protecting the 'family name' or beating the crap out of some kid who maligned a weaker sister (me/the Engineer) Negative traits: She won't let a sleeping dog lie, she loves being argumentative and might be a tad judgemental.

The next, is our family genius aka, the Engineer. We all have lived vicariously through her as she breezed through college with a 4.0. Now, she is as good as pushing our buttons as I am, and cuts through the BS with a sarcastic wit that can't leave you laughing as she tartly rips your idea to shreds. When we were kids she was definitely very shy. She is a bookworm after my own heart and most times could be found with her nose in a book instead of in the thick of action. She is a born mediator and has the ability to effectively calm down the warring factions of the more passionate members of our family..aka my dad, The Lawyer, Big Bro and Miss Popularity. A few choice words, both members are placated, brought to see each other's point of view-- and the war is over. Negative traits: She can be too fact based and analytical, seeing everything without the cloud of emotions. Sometimes comes off sounding uncaring, it's mainly because she is used to dealing in facts and figures.

Last but not least is the most popular girl of our family. Everyone knows her. There is something about the way she can make friends with almost everybody that utterly fascinates me. She definitely inherited that from my dad. She is in college right now, PreMed, and is known by almost everyone on her 5,000 student body. When we were kids, she was never really in our age group, so it was hard to be on the same level with her. But the years have demolished the age barrier, and now she surprises me at times with her keen insights of maturity. My little sister is all grown up. Negative traits: She talks to damn much! But I guess being the youngest, she has to make herself heard.

Add the revolving door of friends, family, innumerable cousins and relatives and you pretty much have my family tree. Even though we are thousands and thousands of miles apart, every Sunday, when it's Noon for me, 3pm for the East coast siblings and 9pm in Nigeria, we all get on the phone and talk for a couple of hours. It's a ritual that we are all used to, noone schedules anything then, and if you miss the weekly family gabfest, you had better have a REALLY good excuse. Can you imagine your whole family talking on the phone for two hours? It's always a riotous, delightful time.

Anyway, enough reminiscing. Guess I have to survive the week until Sunday. Wishing all of you a great week, from my family to yours.

2 comments:

NML said...

Your family sounds great. I think it's great that you have a diverse personality group but you are all strong.

Kafo said...

for real
r u really related to us
i think i am going to send this to all the family members yo
u need a better description of urself tho
kemi
laterz
PS: i'm here becuz Jacob has started reading ur blog :)