Making My Own Family

I’ve been pretty absent here and on Twitter, except for Friday’s SingleParentsTalking chat, and I’m sorry for that. Things have been a little crazy for me.

I went out of town to visit my friend, Sue, which completely derailed my “lifestyle change.” We get together and we *eat.* I didn’t follow most of my rules, and I paid the price–I felt terrible for a few days. But instead of going back to my rules, I kept eating poorly. I’m still making better choices sometimes, but I need to get back on track.

And this weekend didn’t help. Smiley will be with his dad on Thanksgiving, so I had my own Thanksgiving celebration with 20 of my closest friends. My true family. There were a few people missing, like The BFF (sad–lives far away) and my brother (annoying–unreliable), but I had a wonderful time. I really felt loved and even though I drove myself crazy with all the preparation, it was a great time.

Side note: If you’ve never roasted any sort of whole bird, a 20 pound turkey for Thanksgiving is probably not the best place to start. However, it turned out perfectly. Best turkey I’ve ever tasted. (And thank you to Cari and MFA Mama for the push to brine.)

I didn’t spend nearly enough time with Smiley yesterday because of all the craziness, and he was a little overwhelmed by all the people, but he was great and social and adorable. And he got to spend time with The BFF’s parents, who are basically his grandparents on “my side.”

I’m not related by blood to very many people. But I think about my childhood, and I was always surrounded by “family.” The ex and I used to get into it because he only considered “family” to be anyone who wast related by blood or marriage. But he has five or six aunts and uncles. I had many “aunts” and “uncles.” They just happened to be my parents’ friends. Three of his grandparents were still alive well into the ex’s 30s. Three of mine were dead by the time I was 2, and the last one died when I was 10. My parents had friends who were much older than they were, and they were my “grandparents.”

The ex just didn’t understand how those people could be family. But he had the luxury of having a large blood-related family. My parents did what they could to surround us with love and loving friends, who I will always think of as my family.

And I am doing that for Smiley. Of the 20 people in my home yesterday, only three were related to me by blood–my son and my brother’s children. But everyone in that house was my family. The Writer. Friends who are former co-workers. Friends who are married to former co-workers. My BFF’s parents, whom I have known since I was 5 years old. Friends I met while training for a cause near to my heart. This is my family.

My family is made up of people I have chosen, and that’s the best family of all.

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9 responses to “Making My Own Family

  1. I have something I call ‘chosen’ family. While I love and adore my family, over the years I’ve traveled out of the way and found people who have grown to be like family and those people have always been around for me no matter what. With the Bio he had a tough time understanding my close ties not only to my birth family, but to my chosen family and how they were just as important to me as he was. In the long run that ended being one of the reasons we didn’t make it. I love the people in my life, chosen or not, and he always held people at arm’s length.

    Your party sounds lovely and congrats on the bird!!! Good for you for surrounding yourself with loving people always.

  2. I have no blood relatives in my life except my daughter. Before her, I had none but have more than enough people in my life that count anyway. Good for you for enjoying and spending time with those that matter.

  3. CHOSEN family. I totally agree. That’s why I do friendsgiving every year…to celebrate with my very closest friends who I actually consider more what I call ‘sister-friends’ – women that I feel so close to and love sharing with…not family that you are sometimes obligated to see, when you don’t always see eye to eye on things.

  4. people like your ex need to broaden their definition of family! I also have a large ‘blood’ family and we have giant holiday gatherings – often with many family friends as well who are not ‘related’ but who are family, nonetheless. I grew up loving the chaos and chatter and antics of those crazy parties (people are known to break into song lol) and would love to create my own! i think you have created a warm and loving FAMILY tradition and Smiley will treasure these memories over the years!!! He may be especially happy to learn, eventually, that he isn’t blood related to your friends children ;) hahahaaaa

  5. This is so true. I have a few close friends who I would trade for a few actual blood relations any day.

  6. I think if more people embraced this newer definition of family, the world would be a much more understanding and happier place. Thanks for allowing us to be part of your family. PS, the turkey was awesome!

  7. Okay, finally got over to read this! Yay, glad it turned out well, brining is the bomb. I have friends who are more family to me than my own family. It’s what you make it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving in paradise, girl!

  8. Pingback: I Am Stronger Than My Appetite | singleishmom

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