Once upon a time, there were three siblings, Tom, Bob and Mary. They grew up in a time before television and a time when the milkman still came into your house to place the bottles in the kitchen, along with a block of ice. Each of them had very distinct personalities and rolls in the family. Mary, the youngest by six and four years, was something of a Lisa Simpson character. They joked that their mother would leave the instructions with her when she left. Perhaps it wasn’t a joke. Later, those three produced a herd of 20 cousins, and more second cousins than I can count. I was one of them and Bob, the middle child, was my father.
The family reputations were very clear in my mind. Reputations are often well earned but I suspect that the individual variations might have been greater than the idiosyncrasies of the groups. Grouping by prejudice is always an easier path. We so love seeing patterns, we pick up on them whether they exist or not. For this story, I’m taking that easy path.
One family was religious, pius and exuding of goodness; This was young Mary’s. The other family was exciting and rebellious, fighting for social justice in unusual ways and inventing their own way in the world from scratch; this was Tom’s. Then there was us, too bad to be good, too good to be exciting. Perhaps this was my indoctrination of being a moderate.
We are all good people (I think), most of us stayed out of prison (joke), but sometimes I think the three families don’t quite know how to interact with each other. Do we keep a lid on who we are so as to not shock the others?
Unfortunately, the three matriarch/patriarchs are all deceased, but thanks to their efforts, the continuation of our species is going on strong.