We Are Family

Hello my lovelies. Sorry for not posting in like a month. I went home to see my family and did 0% of the writing I had planned. Honestly, I didn’t do most of the things I had planned to do while home, but I guess that’s life sometimes.

This does, however, bring me to what I want to talk about, family.

What is family? I could bring up the dictionary definition, but the word family means many different things to many different people. The dictionary would bring a simplicity to the complexity associated with the word, but that’s not what I want to talk about.

We use the word family to describe more than just the people who birthed us, raised us, or we grew up with us. We attach it to things like work and church or anywhere that we might form a bond with people. I think it’s important to recognize the bonds we make.

You might have heard someone say, “You can’t choose your family.” That’s true when you think of family in terms of your family of origin. As the name suggests, this is the family you were born into. To my knowledge we don’t get to pick which family we are born into so this statement holds some water. Additionally, we can’t pick who we give birth to either (without the use of recent scientific discoveries), though you can pick your child if you adopt. I want to adopt some Rugrats, maybe Chuckie or Susie…

Anyhoo, when I hear that we can’t choose our families my response is typically, “Yes you can. It’s called marriage.” While some places and cultures today still have arranged marriages, most people are able to pick their significant other. Yes the people in your lives might have opinions of their own, but at the end of the day it’s your choose.

I love both my parents. They are great. And I think that what I’m about to describe I’ve done with both of them. Sometimes people do things that make you want to laugh or shake your head or that might just leave you confused. Parents are no exception to this.

There are times when I’m with my parents and one of them does something that falls in the above categories. And here is an example of the conversation that might follow: “That’s your mom.” “That’s your wife. You chose her.” “I can get rid of her, you can’t.” The conversation is similar when I’m having it with my mom, but she’s less likely to make a comment about getting rid of him. (FYI: They’ve been married 40 years. My dad has no plans of getting rid of my mom. If we didn’t love her we wouldn’t be having this conversation, though my mom will say it’s because we like to team up against her.)

We are all family. For me, I didn’t pick these people to be my family. I was born into an already established family.  My parents, however, decided to marry each other. And they decided to have children. They didn’t decide when all of us were going to be born. They didn’t decide our gender or temperments. They decided that kids were in the plan and that 3 was a good number to stop at.

That’s my family. There are aunts, uncles, and cousins I probably couldn’t point out to you in a line up, but there are also the people so close to me that they are like family. I have the church family I grew up with, but within that group there are people who are just family. They don’t need the qualifier in front of the word. I have my second parents, an additional brother or two, and sisters I wouldn’t have otherwise. These are people I’ve adopted into my family, the ones I decided were family. And the thing with this is that no one else in my family has to agree with me. I don’t need my mom to sign off on this person I view as a sister. A sister to me doesn’t have to be a daughter to her.

You may have heard the saying, “Friends are the family you choose.” Based on some people’s definition of friend, this may not be accurate. But true, real friends have a tendency to become family. You bond and share, you complain to each other about life, you check in with each other when things are happening. You may argue with each and make up. These are people you decided you wanted in your life.

I wouldn’t say that everyone I call a friend is family to me, though most I do and most have a qualifier in front of the word family. My church family, work family, whatever else family. It doesn’t matter how the dictionary defines it, we’re family.

And we are family. You guys are my blog fam. I literally just decided this right now and I don’t care if you view yourself as part of this family or not. If you’ve read one post on this blog you’re in. Nothing else is required of you. I don’t like talking to strangers and since we’re family you are no longer a stranger…unless I meet you in person in which case you are. We’re cyber family, not irl family. (To be honest with you, I’m debating whether to leave irl or write it out. I’m not an irl kind of gal, but I can abbreviate with the best of them…maybe…not.)

Well this post is long and I didn’t get to write about spiritual families so I’ll do that next week. And yes, it will actually be posted next week. I’m sitting in a library and have over an hour before I need to leave and I’m coming back tomorrow. This means you might also have a post on Wednesday. I know, it’s like I’m trying to get back on track with this writing thing or something.

Until then my lovelies.

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