Family has always been such a strange concept for me. I am familiar with the fundamentals. You know, you have parents, and possibly siblings and aunts and uncles and grandparents. You CAME from somewhere. And you all may live together or not. But you have a common bond. Blood. It seemed to me that blood, in and of itself, was never really that much of a bond. I grew up in a house with my sister and my mom and a step-dad (who, despite having lived with my mom since I was 12, is not actually married to her, making him…well…not really any relation to me at all) and I can tell you that BLOOD never made me get along with my mom. We didn’t sit down to dinner and talk about our days. We didn’t go shopping together. I didn’t ask her advice about boys. My father wasn’t really around and when he was, it was for short periods of time, wherein he would take my sister and me to do fun things that we never did with our mom. It always struck me as such a strange thing when people’s parents were married. And lived in the same house. And TALKED to each other.
When I was pregnant with Baby L, I vowed to myself that she would have a better “family” than I had. Even if she doesn’t have a sibling, she will still have two parents who adore her. And we, as a parenting UNIT, will raise her. Obviously, in my heart of hearts, I know that some things change and anything is possible. And parenting is hard, and MB and I could grow apart. But I promised myself and her, that even if that happens, we will still be a family. All of us. Because that’s what this is all about. That’s what we started when we made her. A family. And I am not one to punk out on such an important job.
Since we moved in with MB’s family, I have had some realizations about family. MB had a very different upbringing than me, and his idea of this whole thing is very different. Because here, people have your back no matter what. Not that I don’t think my family would support me if I needed them to in any endeavor, but it seems that there is a much tighter structure here. Things are unspoken, but they are strong things. They are very real things. They are FAMILY things. And, even though I sometimes want to punch someone in the face for not doing dishes or using my stuff without asking me, I don’t feel terribly out of place. I sort of feel like MY little family is part of something much bigger now. I feel support from all directions. And as annoying as it can be to be around people all the time, there’s a calm comfort in knowing that, with all of these people who are loving my little family, we won’t fail. And for the first time in a long time, I’m not worried. (And if you know me, you know worry is my best thing.) And this is exactly how I want Baby L to feel. Always.
I have to say, though, I am absolutely glad that this “closeness” is temporary. Because I appreciate the support and company and help, but I also prefer to be “close” from the comfort of my own home.