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Monday, September 23, 2013

Observing Sweden - Culture Shock 3

A Family Affair

            I’ve always had a kind of fear of family, moved as far away from mine as possible as soon as I was able. I was over loved. Mom should have had at least three kids to keep her busy. I was an only child and fairly smothered with her love. I looked at family as a strong, controlling aspect . . . which it is . . . or was. Both mom and dad long gone now. No blood relatives except my daughter, who I love, but barely know . . . She’s looking good, at forty-seven now, two grand-kids, one I’ve never seen. Where does the time go?  Got her act together . . . smart, well married. Mom moved many miles away when she was two.

            I thought there would be time to get to know her . . .  in her twenties maybe, but by then it was too late, of course.


           There seems to be a tight cohesiveness in Sweden, brothers, sisters, cousins. My new family all live fifteen minutes off from one other, or across the street . . . down a few houses.  Wife and I are less than twenty minutes from the farthest. One set of Swedish grandparents live an hour or so away, but are soon moving closer. Family’s very there for one another, giving one a feeling of security. If you need help . . . new thing for me. There have been frequent visits, sons of sons, grandsons and daughters, wives and husbands . . . keep in constant touch with cell phones, texting, sms’s . . . Facebook! Almost tribal . . . digital drums, “I’m at the bank now.” 

            I am coming from the States, and fourteen years of maybe one visit a month. Before that, twenty years no visits. As a classic introvert, this was no problem . . . writers will be quick to understand.  Wife’s family now mine in Sweden, and another major change, but nice. A good move—these advancing years. . . .

Observing Sweden – minor details
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bumper sticker here. Amazing.

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