Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

The family I would’ve wanted to be born into

We don’t choose our parents. Obviously. The family we’re born into is something we have no choice about.  

But what if we did have a choice? What would a family you opted into be like?  Here’s what it’d be for me. 

They’d get along and love each other. They’d be honest. They’d get along with their neighbors and extended family. They’d be wealthy enough to not have to worry about money, or have to be apart to make ends meet like my parents had to. They wouldn’t be super wealthy though, because that would probably mean that one parent spent a lot of time working.

They’d do fun stuff together. They’d eat healthy and exercise. They’d let me be myself. They’d have a few siblings and a dog. They’d love me unconditionally. They’d put family first. They’d treat other people with respect and kindness.

I suppose it wouldn’t be that different than the family I was born into. 

I don’t understand why anyone would want to have a family that kept up with the Jones’s or was really career focused. It could be just me, but that’s precisely not the type of family I’d want to be born into.

I also don’t understand when “people” talk about equality and equity they imply an equality in folks’ ability to be economically rich. Why is that the type of equality we’d want to solve for? 

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe my conception of the family I’d want to be born into, and in turn create with Robyn, is an uncommon viewpoint.  

I spend a lot of time thinking about death and the sort of life I want to live. Losing a parent early and suddenly has made me think like an old man gripping onto life preciously, much earlier than I would have. And stopping murders and shootings puts death on my mind literally every day. It changes a man’s heart.

If my conception of family is not unique, however, living a life focused on money and power must be easier somehow, otherwise nobody would do it.  I seriously don’t get it.