Today, K flew down to her brother’s. He could use her help over the next few days and when she first thought of going, she didn’t say “I’ve got my own family that needs me”, “I’m too busy”, “I’ve committed to my kids here”, “I want to spend time with my husband”. While all that is very true, she did not say it. And I love her for that. I love that she can spend time on her first family without her real family feeling threatened or at a loss. Most of all, when our kids grow up and have families of their own, I hope they follow our example.
Devotion is admirable. But devotion is not a zero-sum game. You need not, and should not, be devoted to one person, one group, one activity, one thing – at the expense of all others. More friends and family simply means more joy to share and more support to give. It does not mean less to share with friends and family that came first.
Kids, even when you start your own families (a long, long way down the road from now), don’t forget that you are still, and always will be, the most important part of your first family.
p.s. I hope I remember this enough as well.