Blood is thicker than water,
so some say (I am making a personal commitment to myself to stop saying ‘they say,’ because I despise it). Yet my chosen family is closer to me than many blood relatives.
But I can’t say there is nothing to the bond of family by blood. A child raised by a nanny, a foster parent, a child care provider may be loved as much as humanly possible (and I am ever so grateful for these people!), but it does not replace a mother’s love, nor a father’s love. From the instant of birth, the connection of blood ties. It is a gift, but it is not the same. I wish I could say otherwise.
I am not my munchkins’ biological mother. I did not give birth to them, and, more significantly, I did not hold them while they took their first breaths. Did not nourish them with their first drops of milk. I cannot make up that time, cannot create that bond. Am I a little hurt when I hear that my middle munchkin says he is really glad I am in his life, but he’ll never love me like his dad? Yes. But I understand what he is saying. I feel similarly. He loves me, and I love him. But it’s not the same as the natural, effortless relationship with my siblings. With the munchkins, it is strong, but it takes work. I can simply pick up the phone and pick up wherever I’ve left off with my brothers. No matter what happens, I will love my parents, my siblings.
…with the child I will have one day.
Sometimes that blood relationship is irreparably damaged.
It’s possible. I have friends that disowned family members. But they had reasons. Nobody just abandons family without a reason. Or maybe they do, but I have never once come across that. But I know that people sometimes walk away from romantic relationships of twenty years or more- seemingly without effort. Rare, but it occurs. Certainly it happens to lesser extents every day. We walk away from friends, from dates. We do not simply walk away from our parents or our children. There is a story, if you are privileged to know it.
Yet the bond between, say, siblings who have not had that relationship torn from them? Weaponized against them? There is nothing in my life like what exists between my siblings and myself. Nothing that came to me so easily, so assuredly. So unconditionally. I demand much of my lovers; I have no issue of them demanding similar of me in order to be in their lives. But my siblings love with no expectations at all. And I am the same for them. It is special, and I treasure it.
It is not the same.
I wish it was, and I wish I could say I could be their mother. I can do everything she does, and more. But what I. do doesn’t matter. They still want her. They’ll still accept whatever she gives as just as good, even better. I can’t heal their pain from not being loved by her.. They don’t mean it to hurt me, it’s in their blood. I am not a replacement. And I never will be.
Oh, I will love them with every fibre of my being! I will treat them as my own (or at least as much as I’m legally allowed). I call them my children (when they’re not around) and my master calls me their mother (but not in their presence, they would feel weird about that, and that’s okay).
They will tell anyone how much they care for me, but I know a hole exists within them. It is okay to acknowledge this truth.
Oh, it’s true that it’s easier than a lot of people think to break ties with blood. I barely talk to most of my blood family. My chosen family is ever so more important to me than they are. But walking away from family simply isn’t the same as walking away from a partner, a toxic friend (all things being equal, of course).
I will always love my chosen family.
And there will never, ever be anyone, for me, like my siblings.