A little over a year ago my mom was in the midst of overhauling the living room. While up to her elbows in paint and carpet samples, she tried to decide what to do with all the random photographs that were laying around. After the new furniture was delivered and things were back in some semblance of order she settled on doing a picture wall above one of the couches.
Then the dilemma became to use matching frames or various frames we had around the house. While I'm not a fan of everything matching I lobbied for all new matching frames. As usual, Big T chose the opposite and decided to just use different frames -- some wood, some metal, some hanging vertically, others hanging horizontally. Once my mom makes up her mind there's no changing it so I didn't even try. I thought it would look a little disorganized and chaotic. Completely mismatched.
However, now as I sit on the opposite couch looking at the pictures., I realize I was wrong. There are candid snapshots of my brother and I, my stepbrother's little girls. and one of my parents at a friends wedding. There are professional shots of my stepbrother and stepsister, one of my mom and her three sisters, and one from my grandparents 50h wedding anniversary with aunts, uncles and cousins. The picture at the very center of the wall is one of my parents surrounded by all of us kids the day they were married. Gazing at these pictures now, I know my mom got it exactly right.
I know I don't talk about them much here on the blog but I have two stepbrothers and a stepsister. While I've never spent more than a long weekend or a few weeks at most with them, they are part of my family. Through social networking and facebook I'm learning more about them and staying in touch with them. I enjoy dinners and beer tastings with my stepsister when she is in town. My stepbrothers daughters are really, really cute kids.While our lives are connected, they all live in other parts of the country. We're all extremely different people. Quite honestly, just about the only thing we have in common is my mom married their dad but over the years we've learned to find similarities.
Looking at the pictures on the wall in their mismatched frames seems so perfect. We're a mismatched family. Different values, different beliefs, different backgrounds. Like the picture frames themselves, no two of us are alike but at the same time we all sort of go together.