My mother and father-in-law are in town for a few days. They arrived last night while I was pulling my shift at the Temple, and will be here until sometime Sunday. It’s kind of nice having company over, and the kids love having Grandma and Grandpa around.
Every so often it reminds me of the fact that my kids didn’t get a Grandma or Grandpa from my side of the family. They got some uncles and aunts, some cousins, and some “fake” relatives like Uncle Dave (chalain), but my Mom and Dad are a single wedding portrait on the wall, taken back in the late 60’s. I wonder whether they would have been good grandparents. They divorced shortly before their deaths (Mom in a car accident two years following the divorce, and Dad had a heart attack two years after that), so if they’d lived and remarried, maybe I’d have been stuck trying to explain why there were four grandparents on my side of the clan. Maybe I’d have a step-mom and a step-dad I could irrationally resent, so visits from paternal grandparents could be poisoned by my own bitterness. Or maybe everything would have been wonderful, and there would be an additional source of Christmas presents for the children of the perpetually impoverished cartoonist.
No, I’m pretty sure that if my parents had lived, I would NOT have become a cartoonist. Things would have been different enough that pretty much everything I’ve done in the last 20 years would have been done a little differently, with the cumulative effect being dramatic. I don’t believe in the butterfly effect on the scale of butterfly->hurricane, but the life or death of a relative would certainly cascade powerfully through several generations of human events. It’s remotely possible that I would have gone to law school, inherited my father’s practice in Florida, and ended up today as a dumpy, balding, middle-aged attorney.
Okay, take another look at the LJ icon for this post… see? It could have happened. The smile would have been different, though.
I’m glad my kids have grandparents on Sandra’s side. I miss my own parents, but I’m happy with the way things are today. Any changes I need to make are changes I’ll make in my present, and my future.