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Friday, March 13, 2009

Relationship: (n) a connection, association, or involvement.

I'll start this post by explaining that I'm never sure how much of my "self" to share on this photo journal. Where is the line between photographer and person? I'm not sure there is one- since who I am shows through in the images I capture. You see what and whom I love. The things that make me happy. What absolutely thrills me. So I decided to share this photo for that reason, and for one more: my mom and sisters keep asking when I'm going to post this picture! (My Dad? Notsomuch.) So, even though a part of me wants to keep this private and personal, I'm going to share with you my family. They are who I am. They make up my quirks, my hopes, my memories, my sense of humor. Or lack thereof. (I know, Mom!) My family is who I call when times are good, and something humorous happened. They are who I turn to when my heart aches and things get tough. And you'd better believe that when (if...?) I get that acceptance letter, I'll call them first. Because, well, without them I wouldn't even be me.

People often marvel at my growing up with 4 sisters and no brothers. "Your poor Dad!" they'll say. Ohh, if they only knew. My poor mother. She was the one who had to deal with our teenage angst, our petty arguments and our emotional outbursts. My Dad? Well, let's just say he had (has) it made. More and more, since I have a daughter of my own, I realize that the whole father/daughter thing isn't a myth. He's a hero in her eyes.

As a young girl, I distinctly remember that I didn't exactly enjoy being one of 5 daughters, being labeled one of 'The Ryan Girls'. (Okay, so that's putting it mildly, I know.) Between the whole 'middle child syndrome' and teenage angst, I wasn't the most mild, contented kid. I still haven't lived down the fact that I once told my parents, "I wish you only had one child, and that it was ME!" And, oh, I meant it. How sincerely I meant it. My Mom and Dad would always say, "Just wait, Blondie, you're going to be good friends with your sisters someday." I always protested with great vigor, disputing their assertion. Trouble is, as usually is the case, they were right. I admit it. See, my four sisters and I? We talk daily. At LEAST once. Some may call it over-communicating. We just call it normal. I mean, who else would I call when Connor loses his first tooth, or Joel asks a hilarious question? Who would I tell when Nora writes me a sweet little letter? When my tulips and allium start to peek their heads through the soil, wouldn't you want to call my sister Katie, too?

The other night, when my oldest sister and her family were here from IL, we all got together in one place for dinner, and made sure to get a picture of the whole crew. We haven't done that in awhile. As we were eating dinner, there were plenty of laughs, an overabundance of chatter, and some serious conversations, as well. One of my sisters related a question that an old friend of ours had recently asked her. He used to hang around at our house now and then, and we kind of grew up together. We had lots of good times with him, talking and laughing, sitting in my Mom's kitchen. With 5 girls, there wasn't exactly an overabundance of quiet. He asked if it was still the same when we get together. And what did I find out Sunday night around that dinner table? You'd better believe it's the same. We'll always be 'The Ryan Girls'. It's just like old times. Except even better.




*Oh, one more note: You know that whole "too many girls in one family thing"? Well, it certainly didn't carry on to the next generation...



A quote from a very young, very wise girl, who knew the depth of family:

"We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same."
-Anne Frank, diarist during the German occupation of WWII, posthumously famous. (1929-1945)

15 comments:

  1. Good Job, Spitzie!

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  2. Spitzie?! I wasn't going to share THAT one!! :)

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  3. Even though we no longer carry on the Ryan name, we'll always be "the Ryan girls". You're more than family and more than sisters and a mom, you're my best friends.

    Love you!

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  4. Aww, Kee, now I have a lump in my throat!

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  5. Minna (the Oldest Ryan girl)March 13, 2009

    So why are you trying to make me cry on Friday night? That was a wonderful post and I feel the same. Dan often laughs about home much I talk to my Mom and Sister's, but i quickly inform him that is the reason that I can live in Illinois with him. He then admits that he wouldn't want it any other way!! I love you guys too. I feel so fortunate to have "built in" best friends that will always be there for me no matter what. Also thanks Bets for not calling me when your Allium poke through! I wouldn't even know what you were talking about :)

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  6. Oh, Minna, I never type internet speak, but I really did just laugh out loud! (I can't bring myself to abbreviate it, tho'!) Heehee. I promise, I won't call you when my bulbs poke through. But I will call you for a recipe...

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  7. LOL. I totally believe you can't do internet speak lady speedstick by mennan!! and I am the one who just called you for a recipe today!!!

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  8. How come I don't get recipe calls or flower calls, just my kid is sick what should I do calls, or my kid is misbehaving, how should I handle it calls?

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  9. Hi, Mom!! And Minna- I can't believe you're airing my deodorant story here... This is my blog. Hmmm... Should I delete it? :) (It's MennEn, by the way...) I'm laughing so hard right now!

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  10. There are lots more where that came from! And doesn't Paul have a deodorant story too? No wonder you two are so compatible!

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  11. Watch it, MIL! What about the story of Charlie the Ram? -PAH

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  12. CollersleanMarch 14, 2009

    Actually PAH for mom it was Blue the Ram.(Which she would carry a 2x4, I would watch it if I were you!) I think Kara and I distinctly remember the story of Charlie the Ram. I was the one to take the brunt of that (if you get my meaning). My boys just LOVE to hear the details on that one.

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  13. CollersleanMarch 14, 2009

    Minn and Betz- it was Teen Spirit by Lady Speed Stick by MennEn. Get it Right!

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  14. oh and Mom we must think that you did such a good job with us, that we need your advice for how to raise our kids. And DON'T even say what I KNOW you are thinking :)

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