why i cherish my blood family (at least the ones I like)

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.

I am 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. 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 my siblings, it’s easy.  With the munchkins, it takes work.

Of course that’s because my relationship with my siblings is a healthy one.  Each and every relationship takes some amount of work.  But it’s more of not wrecking it, then actively working on it.

The friends I have that do not have this bond with their biological family members have reasons. It didn’t “just happen.” There’s a long, painful story- and even then it usually took years to dissolve the relationship.

I’m sad when I hear, or know, mothers and fathers that aren’t loving towards their children. I could try to tell myself, “Oh, a parent is a parent. As long as they have a loving parent, that’s good enough.”

But it isn’t quite. I am not my munchkins’ biological mother. 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.

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