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You can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends…..

And, as it turns out, sometimes you can pick your family (or at least they can pick you).

OK, I have to start out by saying that this is a hard thing to write. Emotional stuff is tough for me to put down.

What started out as a plain old kids play date grew faster than anything I could imagine possible. Shared rides to after school activities. Big sister needed some help with some studying. More play dates. A couple of quiet evenings around the dinner table, and suddenly, without warning, I’ve adopted a family, and they’ve adopted me. I’m not sure how it happened. A lot of kids and their parents have passed through my house – it comes with the way I choose to live my life. So why did this particular family click? Dunno.

Maybe its because we’re all a little odd – and out here in Booneyville, there just plain old ain’t much odd folks around. Maybe its because we’re all intellectual snobs and have a bunch of other things in common. I think there’s something more, but I don’t know what.

I do know that the kids recently decided I should be “Uncle”. This shouldn’t make a difference, should it. Its just a word. But, for some reason that I’m not sure I really understand, it is important. Really important. Does it change the way the kids think of me? I don’t really think so. Does it change the way they act towards me? Not that I can tell. Maybe it’s that the vocalization of it makes it seem more real – they don’t call me Uncle, but they made it clear that that is how they are thinking of me. “Its cool to have an uncle right down the street”.

The fact that they made this leap just before heading off to summer camp for “way too long” makes me miss them even more. They insisted on pre-addressing envelopes to me, but I’m guessing mom and dad will be lucky to get more than the occasional letter, so I’m trying to be realistic. ‘Course, I’m gonna send them something. Gotta get that guilt thing going, eh? Anyway, I love sharing our kids, and I’m going to make sure Mr. and Mrs. get a good dose of The Small One to help with their kid withdrawal….

And its not just the kids. Mom and Dad seem to have connected with me (not as my mom and dad, but as an equal) in a way that none of my other friends have. People I’ve known for 25 years aren’t as close as they are. People that have shared a huge portion of my life history and most of the major events of my adult life don’t know me as well as they do. It isn’t as easy to describe the adult relationship. In a lot of ways kids are easier just because they’re kids. Its easy to understand connecting with them (especially if you’re a softie like me). The adults… Well, there’s definitely a lot of respect – we’re all professionals, and good at what we do – even though we all do very different things, we recognize the value of each other’s skills (and not just job stuff). There are things we disagree on, but we can actually discuss them without anyone getting offended – just because we have different opinions doesn’t mean we can’t be close.

I dunno. I guess I’m being a bit over analytical. The “why”, and “how come” don’t really matter. What matters is that we can share our time.

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2 Responses

  1. I was adopted into a family, too – and a good thing, because I had fled an abusive biological family and needed a place to land.

    You don’t need to know the WHY. Just love that it IS.

  2. Good post!!! I’d love to be “adopted” into somebody else’s family. Mine stinks.

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