Sometimes as a child I felt like the odd-man out: Mom and Dad had each other; the eldest and the middle had each other. As the third child, and only girl, did I fit?
Of course I did. These were my people. Irreplaceable. They were mine and I was theirs. It’s still true.
But family isn’t a stagnate word.
Certain people surpass the standard definition of friend. They’re the ones I can call at any time, day or night. They’re the ones who can read between the lines of an email or interpret my silence. They’re the ones who show up uninvited because they hear what I say, but they know what I mean. They’re like family.
I’ve collected them along the way. Not one of them would I have pegged as a future family member the moment I met them. They know me in different capacities than my family does. We share a history that crosses the one I share with my family but runs different roads as well. They don’t have to love me, but they do.
And they see my family in ways I cannot. They see the parts I take for granted and point out how special those bonds are. They’re drawn to qualities I didn’t realize aren’t inherent in every family.
They don’t replace my family. They augment it. They remind me I fit.
This post is part of the 31 Days: Family series. Read the beginning, and see a full index of posts, here.