I grew up without any contact with my extended family. I obviously knew that my parents had parents of their own, but that those relationships weren’t good and my brother and I didn’t know them. I have aunts and uncles I’ve never met, cousins I don’t know names of and whatever other forms of relatives that are somewhere out there in the world, and I’m okay with that. As an adult, I got to know my great uncle and meet a few relatives through that line, and while it’s been fun to see what my extended family is like, it hasn’t really changed my life or how I see myself.
Dean is much closer with his extended family. He grew up knowing his aunts and uncles, playing with his cousins and at least knowing his grandparents (although I’m not really too sure how close he was with them before they passed on). Of course moving overseas and then returning to South Africa changed those relationships, and it’s not as if he’ll pick up the phone to call his cousins, although he’s generally quite happy to see his various family members during special occasions. Since getting married, our relationship is “immediate” family, with everyone else sort of extended families, right? Can you tell that I’m confused by this? But ultimately, my question comes down to raising Harley, of course.