We all have families — some family members we love to death and there are others that you might like to “kick” out as one of my uncles “jokingly” told me (though he was serious; no I’m not going to say which uncle or which family member). LOL!
FAMILY: The True Meaning of Family… Family consists of the people who support and love you, and the people you can confide in and trust.
That about sums it all up. Sometimes, your friends are closer to you than your actual family members — the family you were born or adopted into.
My, then, 3-year-old granddaughter figured this out on her own. Last year, one of my friends was “playfully picking on her,” which got her attention. Normally, she would retreat and not have anything further to do with the individual who was “bothering her,” but not this particular person. In fact, quite to the contrary, she started asking all sorts of questions about them much to my amazement, which was definitely out of her character. Before long, she started calling them her family (mind you, she had only spent a little time with them at this point). To test her, one day I asked, “Why are they your family?” Her 3-year-old response was, “Because they are my friend, they are my family.” One of my daughters asked her if one of her friends was her family. Her response was, “No, they are my friend”. I have to admit that I was absolutely blown away. How could someone so young put something so major into perspective? How could she understand what some people who are older than she is don’t? Until this very day, my friend is her family, and they have a very special bond.
Sometimes, we look at people and their families and “envy” them because their family is large and they are what we call “tight nit.” They talk and socialize regularly, and are there for each other. You long for that type of relationship with your family but, for whatever reason, it’s never forthcoming.
My family is pretty small on both my paternal and maternal side. That’s one of the reasons I’m glad that my maternal uncle has a cookout every summer wherein he invites family and friends. It’s good to see family during happy times rather just when someone passes. During that time, everyone promises to get together, but it never happens. My uncle usually makes this a two day event, which is really cool because the second day it’s just my immediate family. The paternal side of my family is even smaller, and I very seldom spend time with them, unfortunately. It’s funny how times change because when I was growing up, I spent more time with my paternal family.
When I was growing up, we used to have big family dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember when I “graduated” from the “kids” table to the “big people table”. You couldn’t tell me that I hadn’t arrived. These are memories that I will cherish for life.
I have longtime friends whom I consider family because they have been there for nearly every facet of my life — the good, the bad, and the ugly. I also have new friends that I call family as well because as my granddaughter would say, “Because they are my friend, they are my family“. They welcomed me and all of my craziness with open arms, no questions asked, and it feels like they’ve been a part of my life since forever.
No matter if you’re born into a family or “choose” your family, enjoy your time with them because seemingly go by in a fleeting moment. Let them know how much they mean to you, and don’t forget to remind them of this often.
You, younger folk, should try and get to know the elders in your family. Not only do they have a ton of wisdom and knowledge, but you can learn so much from them. They possess a wealth of information they willingly want to share, which not only is interesting and fascinating, but can also give you a glimpse into your history. I always enjoy hearing about the “good old days”.
My granddaughter and her great grandfather sharing moments of fun…