Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 48: Fitting In

Lark (20s me): Hey Mom.

Mom (Present me): Hey Lark. What’s on your mind?

Lark (unsure): I… I wanted to talk to you about my sisters.

Mom: How are things going between you?

Lark: They’re okay I guess, it’s just…

Mom (concerned): They don’t sound okay.

Lark (apologetic): No no, we get along fine, honest. It’s just that Bloom and Libra have this kind of sisterly bond — they’re really close with each other. I’m still their sister, but I feel more distant; like I don’t really belong with those two.

Mom: First of all, you’re my daughter, and you absolutely belong with those two. You’re family.

Lark (relieved): Thanks Mom.

Mom: Second of all, you don’t all have to have the same kind of relationship. Sisters don’t have to stay perfectly in sync to be sisters.

Lark: It just feels weird, you know? It feels strange to feel like an outsider in your own family.

Mom (dry): Tell me about it.

Lark (apologetic): Oh… Not like that, I’m sorry. I know our relationship with our birth family leaves a lot to be desired.

Mom: It does, yes. But it’s fine, Lark — I know you’re not comparing this Family of Me to our birth family.

Lark: Thanks. It just seems strange to feel like an outsider here when we’re all nominally the same person.

Mom: You are and you aren’t, right? The entire reason that this format works is because I’m not the same person in high school that I was in college, or that I was in my 20s. So even though we’re all me, there are some subtle and some less subtle differences.

Lark: Granted… I guess I expected to feel closer to Libra through. Those differences don’t seem to be distributed evenly.

Mom: No, they aren’t. Bloom and Libra may be different, but they have one big thing in common: They’re both in school. They haven’t had to strike out on their own and really rely on themselves yet. That experience changed me a lot.

Lark: And as a result I don’t relate to those two as well. I just wish I could get along with them better, you know?

Mom: Just try to remember what you were like back then. Relating to people younger than you are is always a little challenging, but you have an advantage in that when you were their age, you were literally them. That insight and familiarity makes a difference, you just have to lean into it a bit.

Lark: You’d think that’d be easier — that it would come naturally. Like you said, I literally lived their experiences… Why is it so hard for me to put myself in their shoes?

Mom: I don’t think we’re very good at it in general. Take social justice as an example — for a long time we’ve been frustrated with family and peers who’ve presumably lived through the same history as us and yet formed wildly divergent views, or whose views belie a lack of understanding about the world that we have. But we talked about this before, right? It took us years of time and sometimes required experiencing specific events in order to learn the lessons we take for granted now.

Lark: Right, and it’s important to remember that, so we can give other people grace or understand what they’ve been through. I hope other people extend the same grace to us too. As you said though, we’ve talked about this before, so what’s your point?

Mom: My point is that it’s *difficult* to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It doesn’t come naturally to us. We talked about it back then so I could process that and get better at it. Heck, this entire series is an attempt to reconcile with my past, because even though those shoes used to be mine, slipping into my kid shoes isn’t a thing that comes naturally. Those shoes don’t fit anymore and I have to remember how I wore them… It takes conscious effort to wind time back like that.

Lark: Yeah… I take your point, Mom. I’m going to have to put in special effort to relate to my sisters.

Mom: To an extent, yes. But it’s also okay that you don’t relate to them all that closely. You’ve changed, you know? Just be their big sister, and try not to be jealous of their connection.

Lark: I’ll try. I just worry, you know? Our sisters are all that we’ve got in here. I can’t exactly make new friends.

Mom: Granted. But you’ll have more chances, I promise. We’ll find your older sister.

Lark: Okay. Thanks Mom.

Mom: Always, dearest.