Monday, 22 October 2012

Changing family dynamics

Both my grandfathers were polygamists. Its just how it was. That means I have multiple grandmothers, hundreds of REAL aunts and uncles and as for sisters, brothers and cousins...don't even ask. Okay, let me clarify 'cousin'.
Children of aunts(Mom's sisters only). »»My mom doesn't have sisters from her mom but her other mother (her father's 1st wife) had girl children which are her sisters, also, her my grandma has a sister, so her daughters are my aunts too. All the kids from these aunts are my sisters and brothers. Incredible! That explains why my brother doesn't stay at my house friend.
Children of my uncles( mom's brothers&dad's brothers&sisters)  »» these are all cousins. Not 1st 2nd cousin what-what. Gosh how the hell are those 'calculated'? There are no step-people. Step-brother whaaaa? *shake my head*

From my mom's side, the two grandmothers lived separately. However, we kids were raised in both houses simultaneously, we hardly missed out on what was happening on the other side. School holidays had everyone being swapped around. I literally didn't really live in one house-ever.(That's besides the fact my direct unit of the family is quiet nomadic in itself). I tended to be asked to live with the different Granny's, aunts and uncles more often than most of my brothers and sisters. Even during school time. Whoever I'd be staying with would make plans to get me to whichever school I was in like it was part of their everyday schedule. I'm the family rebel everyone loves to think they can fix by overdosing 'understanding'. My uncles secretly liked my 'different' mind and actually encouraged it.

From my dad's side, my Zionist Pastor granddad lived with all three of his wives. He was a wealthy man with an enormous (compound?), cattle and a blue Toyota bakkie. His mother who like him had no education, could write 1 word-T O Y O T A. Her son's beloved car. Sweet sweet weird cray woman she was. :):):)
The compound has 4 houses, 1 for each of my grandmas and the main house,(referred to as The Main House (Nduni Khulwane)) where my granddad lived.
December holidays had that compound easily filled with over 50 children. Easy.

Somehow, although I grew up with such harmony with polygamy in the higher tiers of my family's hierarchy...I always knew I  didn't want to be in a partnership like my grandmothers.
Was I maybe to young to notice if there were tensions? It seemed very normal and happy to me. Why did I never wish for my kid to have such a big family like I have?
Are people selfisher than our ancestors were? Why? Are our brains conditioned differently? When did this loathe for what we know come up? Is it liking other people's things a bit too much? *claps once*

I don't think any of  grandmothers felt oppressed a day in their lives. They were happy, respected, loved and privileged women. Some things got real messed up by adopting foreign cultures neh?
Even after saying this I will probably frown when I hear a our generation polygamous sichuashen. Ay-ya-yai. Can't win.

On that note, I'd like to welcome the latest addition to this biiig family, my niece, Mashudu. OMG, what a gorgeous lil one!

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