Saturday, April 19, 2014

We are Family-- The Difference Between family and FAMILY


 Happy Easter Everyone! P and I have been staying with my parents for the last couple of days. It has gotten me thinking about family. What it means to me, and how it is different now that P is here. The following is my rant about "family."     
                Having a child makes you realize the importance of family and their influence on who you are. Since Baby P was born, I have been very lucky to have the support of my friends and family. I consider her lucky to have not only 4 awesome grandparents, but also countless aunts and uncles—both adopted and real. I truly understand the importance of building a circle of supportive and loving adults to help raise my child. I was raised this way, and I consider myself better for it. As many people say, it takes a village to raise a child. I agree with this sentiment a lot more now than I did growing up.

                It has always been baffling to my husband, how and why I treat those who are not family as such. It is something that I was brought up with. It was the way that I was raised, and I consider it a good quality to have. Don’t get me wrong, there’s family, and then there is FAMILY. I totally get the difference. But I don’t think many people my age have the same type of outlook on family that I do. It is something special to me, and I want my daughter to have the same thing.
                Growing up, I had a plethora of adults that I was around frequently. I called them all aunt and uncle this or that. That is what they were to me. In reality, I only have two aunts and two uncles that are FAMILY. The rest are just family. However, it wasn’t until I was much older that I fully understood this. Yes, it blurred the line a bit, but I think they all fit the description of family rather well.
                Today, my daughter will have one UNCLE and one AUNT, but she will have many other aunts and uncles. These will be people that I want to be a part of her life as she is growing up. I see it as paying homage to the respect that I have for what these people have done for me.  They include my best friends from high school that were in my wedding, my best friend from college, and a very dear friend that I met while student teaching. I consider them family, and want to show that to my daughter. Call me crazy—my husband certainly does. I would not have a problem with him doing the same thing with those who have meant a lot to him along the way.

                My daughter also has four wonderful GRANDPARENTS. She has a Grandpa and a G-Daddy. She has a Memo and a Glammy. She will also have a Meme. This is a very special lady in my life who I feel had a great part in raising me—especially in my teenage years. She is like a second mother to me. She treats me like a daughter, and treats my daughter like a grandchild. I am very thankful for her support and wisdom, and therefore feel that she should have a title. I want my daughter to understand her importance in her life.
                So what is FAMILY and what is family? The line is clearly blurred a bit in my world. FAMILY  are those related by blood. They are those that you may see at every holiday. They are important because they are part of you. They certainly care for you, want the best for you, and they support you. Sometimes, those that are family are actually closer to you than those who are FAMILY. Those that are family are perhaps even greater because they are not bound to you by blood or marriage. They love you, are there for you, and support you even when they do not HAVE to. They are not required to because you share relation. They do this because of the relationship that you have with them. To me that is just as special, and I appreciate them all the more for it.

                What does family mean to you? Do you have similar people in your life, and how do you plan to continue that relationship within your child’s life?

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