I believe that family is what you make it. Surrounding me are students with moms and dads that they call and tell about their day, brothers or sisters that they can share stories with, aunts and uncles that bring them age-inappropriate gifts on holidays. The last time I had any of those things, respectively, was: never, never, and at the age of 12.
(For the record, I Googled “unconventional family” to find some pictures, and all it gave me were pictures of Kate Hudson. Don’t know what that’s all about, but it’s definitely not what I was going for.)
Eventually I made my way to Fort Collins to attend CSU, and it was here that I established my complete, tried and true family. Earlier this year Eric and I decided to have kids—dogs, that is. It happened like it usually does: we had one and then the second one came along out of nowhere. She should have been named Whoops.
I now own a house, and we have to sleep with the kids when they are anxious and don’t want to be alone. I have a yard where the kids can play, and a customized kitchen where Eric and I cook up a storm. If we had a nanny we would be the stereotypical working-parent household. Fortunately we don’t need one, since we can legally put our kids in kennels.
The point is that everyone can have their own special little family, and it doesn’t have to be so serious that it requires fancy save-the-dates or post-birthing delivery room gatherings. Everyone (and I mean everyone) that I went to high school with has experienced those things already, and they’re happy too. I chose the boyfriend-and-puppy route, and it has given me a great perspective on what life will (mostly) be like when I actually do decide that it’s time for good ol’ fashioned conception.
In the meantime I’ve got what I’ve got, and I couldn’t be happier. I have made a makeshift family in Fort Collins, and I don’t care anymore that my blood-relations chose not to stick around. Family is what you make it, and if you make it a house and puppies or an apartment and babies, or any combination of the above, just remember to be happy.
Photo from here.