Erika Ray Photography » blog

Our Family Map

As we get busier with our family, it becomes difficult to visit with the entire family.  It’s the double edge sword every person with a decent childhood battles.  You realize that you’re a pretty awesome family unit because of this extend family.  You want to desperately return to the child/mom role in that family.  You want the break from motherhood/wife-hood/adultness that comes from hanging with your siblings and parents.  You want to go back.

But you’re responsible for children.  You’re the one they call Mom.  Or Dad.  You’re the one who has to pack bags and clear schedules.  Or decide to not clear schedules to hang with the extended family.  It’s you.  And your need for the cozy Family hug takes work and sometimes can’t happen as often as it should.  We haven’t been to either Home much in the past couple months.  2013 has been difficult and some things unfortunately suffer.  We fixed that this weekend with a trip to Mark’s home.

Friday night, I remember sitting in my in-laws’ family room thinking, “No matter how pissy I’ve become at life, this really is exactly how it should be.  This is what everyone wants.”  It was room full of children laughing with their cousins.  Adult children laughing about an old memory or a new kid gaff.  The room was full of chatter about retirement plans and birthday celebrations.  It was oozing with Family.  It didn’t matter that we rushed home from work.  I forgot that my kitchen was filthy.  I didn’t mind that I left my pillow on my bed.  I didn’t give a shit that my kid opened a soda 9 p.m.  It was just plain good to be home with my family.

Please don’t think that the weekend was full of gooey rainbows.  Five kids under 8 and more tween cousins make for a very loud house.  Adult siblings can revert very quickly to teenagers.  Bags were packed quickly and things were forgotten.  Early morning wake-ups suck no matter where you are.  New dramas unfold and hurt hearts.  A house full of parents can also be a house full of different parenting styles.  Late nights are always interesting with children.  And Grandma and Grandpa’s drawers are stocked exactly as they should be: full of candy.

But it doesn’t matter.  It’s just plain good to be with family.  It’s our map.  We don’t have to completely recreate our path to the future.  We’re lucky because we can travel down the trail our parents wandered.  And when we feel brave enough to step off that path, we know they’ve given us the skills to succeed.  And if we forget?  We simply go home.









  • Bridget - Love the last photo! But they’re all great.September 30, 2013 – 11:49 amReplyCancel

  • rachel - Amazing. Makes me yearn for Home.September 30, 2013 – 1:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Cathie - Sounds like a great weekend. And beautiful photos.September 30, 2013 – 11:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Corinne - I always enjoy reading your unique take on things. Beautiful images. The one of the woman clasping her hands together after releasing the lantern made me gasp!October 1, 2013 – 9:30 amReplyCancel

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