On Sunday, The Family went to see The Lion King at Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theater.  The show was amazing –worth my ticket price at the opening song.  I found myself dorkily smiling throughout the familiar dialogue and lyrics, and the spontaneous and unexpected joy reminded me of how I used to smile and enjoy life often … before I became depressed and issues-ridden.

We grew up being taken to plays but had not gone in a long time –in truth, we had not been together in the same room together for a long time.  Having the five family members packed into the car was something I don’t remember happening for at least the past ten years –of course that meant I had to sit bitch, those little punks.

And it’s not like we don’t get along.  We do.  Wonderfully.  We are all just busy with our own lives.

The parents are very different from each other –right-brain grade-school teacher vs. left-brain software engineer.  I like to think I have some mixture of each of them in my system.  They’ve been happily married for over thirty years, so I have no doubt a marriage can work well even with fairly little in common. Which is very positive since I am rarely attracted to those similar to myself –why would I need him around if I am capable filling the same role?

I have an older sister and a younger brother.  I am the (lost and forgotten, abused and neglected, et cetera) middle child.  My parents had three children under three years of age for three days, at which time The Sister turned four, which is still close in age but sounds less cool to say.  I think The Mom secretly revels for those three days in August when she can sequentially list the ages of her children.

Growing up, I liked the closeness of our ages. Since we all went through the same stages at close to the same time, I never felt alone or completely misunderstood –I had two comrades for consultation, whether that be homework, prom, or parent manipulation.  Having our respective high-school class sized at over 600 kids helped, as there were plenty of people to date/hate without encroaching on someone elses’ territory.

We’re a little abnormal in our lack of familiar complications.  I would even go so far as to say we’re slightly boring.  We also have a golden retriever and dinner is promptly served every night at 6:00. 

After the show, we, as a family, went to dinner.  I love drinking and partying with the siblings, but as a family?  In my hometown?  It surprised me –I expected to be annoyed or embarrassed that someone might see me enjoying these people.  I had a great time, loved the being with The Family –but decided best to keep the dosage minimal, because the family time also reminds me how appreciative I am that I am busy with my own life.  And I’d rather OD on something I’d wouldn’t regret from the subsequent aversion … like peach schnapps.