Sunday, August 28, 2005

It Takes a Village...Westlake Village

I don't know how I'd survive without my family. Yes, I'm the kind of person that, should some unforseen meteor hit my kin, I'd attach myself to a friendly looking Thai family at the grocery store and force myself over for holidays. But I am so grateful my immediate family is around (Though probably not as grateful as the Thai family). There's my mom, who spoils my kids rotten. There's James mom and dad, who spoil the kids rotten. Then there's James' dad's mom who spoils the kids rotten. Add into the equation my two sisters and brother, James' sister, countless cousins and extended family friends, and what you got, my friend, is a village! In the case of James' family, this is actually Westlake Village, only a few miles from my mom's in Woodland Hills and my brood in Chatsworth. Some people might find it a bad thing to have inlaws and family so close. I say bring it on. We're all different, and that's what makes the dynamic so fantastic. Some of us drink martinis each day at four. Some of us teach second graders and amuse ourselvs by wearing ugly shirts and buying 100 pound dogs. Some of us still live at home and make money by obsessively listening to the radio and winning prize packages. Others of us live in three quarter of a million dollar homes but work at a country club for minimum wage for the free golf. Others of us live in a mobile home and, at 83, belong to a jazzer swim group self-titled "The Mermaids". One of us just spent time in a Mental Health Unit to resassess our life. One of us lives with a man thirteen years younger than herself and dreams of retiring at a beach house in wine country. All of you know who you are. And all of you are so wonderful for taking such an interest in every nosebleed, school day, doctor's visit and successful toilet traning day my kids encounter. I am grateful that you're the "spending time type of family", not the "spending money sort". When the kids are older, they'll know how to spit in the pool, throw out the trash and remember the thrill of walking a wooden vintage turtle named Poochie up and down a trailer park. They'll remember what it's like to build castles with one dollar legos bought from a garage sale, swim in a five dollar blow up elephant pools in nothing but their birthday suits, get wrapped up in warm towels and set to dry on a lounge chair, then pee on the freshly grown grass. Life doesn't get much better that.

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