Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Family We Chose

Disclaimer: it's Hallie's birthday week, so this mama is feeling intensely sentimental, extraordinarily grateful, and a wee bit emotional. 

On Easter Sunday my Facebook and Instagram feeds exploded with pictures of large family gatherings and holiday celebrations. Moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunt and uncles and cousins...reunited, if even for just a few hours, in honor of a special day and in spite of the crazy that inevitably comes out when families get together.

Tom and I - and our extended families - work hard to stay connected despite the 1,000 miles between us. Annually we see one side for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas, we visit both extended families in the summer, and the grandparents travel to us at least once in the spring or fall (and sometimes both). But because the journey requires an airplane or driving for multiple days in the car, we don't spend the rest of the holidays - New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween - with family.

I had previously thought of us as the minority, celebrating at home with our little foursome because we don't have family here. (To be clear, I'm not complaining. I appreciate the intimacy of our holiday celebrations.) It struck me, however, as I wrote last week's post about our new Easter tradition, that I was wrong. We do have family here. We have the family we chose.

We met through preschool, elementary school, and existing friends. We became friends, and then over time, we became a village.

The other day a quote came across one of my social media feeds. I don't have the wording quite right, but it said something like "the village has enough idiots...I'll raise my child myself, thankyouverymuch". In that moment I felt horribly for whoever wrote that statement, because they clearly don't have a village like mine.

My village works because we built it slowly, on a foundation of friendship using bricks of kindness, honesty, support, acceptance, and love. (And with a little wine on top.) These gifts - and not necessarily just blood - make people family. And the four Ferri are lucky to have found family here in Texas.

These people - my village, my Texas family - make every day a holiday.

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