Our Father’s family

family-reunion-clip-art-reunion-pic

This topic might seem strange or confusing to some but I’m going to expound on it in a moment. First let me tell this story.

I happened to be in a discussion with a few friends one day and one of them told us a story about his family. He was complaining rather, of a younger female cousin of his who had offended him. He said he had sent her a very simple text with the message; ‘miss you, love you.’ which she misconstrued and then replied him that he should never ever in his life send that type of message to her again. He got angry and called her back immediately asking her what she meant by her reply and she apologized, saying that her boyfriend had seen the message and wasn’t very comfortable with its content. It was especially irritating to my friend because this is a common practice in their family; they show their love to one another all the time. To cut a long story short, they resolved their differences.

That is not the main focus of my rambling today though. He went on to tell us how closely knit his paternal family was as compared to his maternal side. He said all his cousins, first, second or third from his father’s side are very close. They spent a lot of time together while growing up, had lived together for many years and till date are still very comfortable in one another’s company. This story sounded both strange and exciting to me because in most cases, you hear of such closeness from the mother’s side of the family and not the father’s.

Right there and then, as we were discussing, I counted four or five other people who shared the same opinion as mine, they are closer to their mother’s side of the family than their father’s.

I for one, have cousins on my paternal side that I have not seen in years and when I say years, I mean fifteen years and more, not some measly two, three years. My father’s people are as far from me as the earth is from the heavens. It’s just irreconcilable differences; I don’t see the situation changing anytime soon, except we, the younger generation, decide to do something about it.

It made me wonder how this became the norm, how it became a way of life and an acceptable practice. This is a trend I have noticed in Nigeria particularly but I might be wrong. Is it peculiar to my sphere of influence alone or is it a common trend?

So, in a bid to know more, I have decided to throw this question out to my wonderful readers. Please, I’ll like your input, comment and let me know. Is it something you’ve noticed too or am I in a league of my own? Maybe I need to change my friends and (or) family….lol.

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8 thoughts on “Our Father’s family

  1. Sometimes I felt am alone in my little world
    Thou I long to share the love and cares bottled within
    But those I cherish cares not
    And I am left wondering if am desparate or I can’t just keep to myself like my kinsmen……………
    Maggie, every things have gone amiss. Our parents got it all wrong and here we’re looking for a way out.
    Our parents are our link to our distant family. You know death waits with cold hands and when they’re taken away, the link is broken and we conclude that one’s children, wife or husband are one’s family.
    …… I don’t communicate with any of my cousin, thou I wish I could help things but if wishes are horses …… Well done for tis piece written on family ties. Happy new year, let keep sharing

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  2. Well, I haven’t so much observed the tilt more towards the maternal side. I relate more with those from my father’s side. I actually just actively noticed. Lol!
    I’m closer to these favorites because we share same ideals, not necessarily because of any overwhelming parental bias.
    But then, it’s okay to be in touch with any relative that won’t choke one out. Selah!

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  3. I agree that the change starts with us, we need to bring about the difference we desire, else, the whole vicious cycle keeps going round.
    Cheers M.S, happy new year!

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  4. It’s an offshoot of motherly affection. Rare cases where fathers are more affectionate, the children tend to be closer to the paternal side. It also depends on the family. Some are just nutured in love.

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  5. It’s same with me, Maggie. You’re even lucky it’s just 15 years you’ve not seen some of your paternal cousins; I have some I’ve never seen in my life. I have relatives I don’t even know exist. Met some for the first time ever last year at a burial ceremony, the next time I saw one of them was in my church in Ibadan, and since then I’ve been seeing him every week. Prior to meeting him, only God knows how many times I’d seen him ‘unconsciously’.

    In fact, only God knows how many of my relatives I see daily but don’t know.

    I guess having generations of polygamist ancestors is the problem with my own paternal side. Even the ones whom we know each other very well don’t talk at all. I can’t boast of having 5 phone numbers from my father’s side. We were taught from birth to avoid them, since “they never wanted my dad to amount to anything after his mum was conspired against and sent out…and later killed”. #SuperStory

    I think change can really come from our own generation. We now have all the technology that will make it easy to find each other and relate more. But it still boils down to individual willingness. Some of them are my FB friends but we’ve never said ‘hi’ to each other for once!

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  6. I love this Maggie!! It’s a very common trend,in fact it’s as old as the world itself and I keep thinking how it could be resolved…. Sometimes last week I brought the issue up while I was discussing with my man “why is it that children get closer to mother’s side than the father’s ” I think the change could start from our generation, but my question is should we just forget about the older generations and focus on ours? Kinda disturbed about this father’s family. And I also think the fathers has a lot to do to change this bad situation.

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    1. Thank you Oluwaseun. I rather think we should focus on our own generation. I don’t think there’s anything we can do about the older ones. Let the change start with us and we go from there.

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