I love my family. Really, I do. We may not always get along and we certainly argue about the stupidest stuff for no reason. But, in the end, we are still family and I have their backs no matter what. But, one thing I have come to appreciate over my thirty two years on this planet is the advent of my "chosen" family. These are the people I choose to surround myself with on a daily basis, and trust with every fiber in my being. And while the holidays come around I know it's important to spend time with your bloodlines - but it's easy to forget those people you choose to be in your life. Especially when you have kids. Here is my ode to them...
We all have those people in our lives who just get us. They're your best friends, or your most trusted co worker. Most live close, while some live far away.
In our case, Tall Mom and I have great friends in Rhode Island who we consider our family. We hang out nearly every day we can, we attend one another's weddings, we go to each others parties, supply a shoulder to cry on when things go bad, or we share a drink when we watch football on Sunday.
Rhys and (soon Felicity) refer to these people as "Auntie," or "Uncle." Are they blood? Nope - but they might as well be.
I can honestly say that I share more of my life with these people than my ACTUAL family. Some of that is by choice, some of that is simply because we have more things in common.
It's almost as if I only see my given family on holidays. Now, I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing - but I do know that I think I like it this way.
It's good because your chosen family, in my belief, influences who you are far more than your given family. Who you CHOOSE to be around, who you CHOOSE to inform your life on an every day basis, is indicative of the person you not only are, but want to become.
Each year, we've come to have a "Friendsgiving" in addition to our Thanksgiving, or a Christmas Eve - Eve party with our chosen family. How about New Years? Also - with the chosen family. Because they get us. They are us. We are them.
We are such great supporters of our chosen family that we asked our two best friends to be Rhys' god parents. Of course, being the non traditional parents we are, we don't necessarily believe in the normal role of "godparents"either. We look at that relationship more as an example of how awesome the relationship was between Harry Potter and Sirius Black. (Yes, we're super nerds.)
Here's the problem, both of Rhys' godparents, John and Julie, live in other states. It stinks that he doesn't get to be in their presence every day like we want him to be, BUT we do have a work around. We use things like Skype, or Google Hangouts whenever possible.
|Me with Rhys' Godfather John|
There are times that we get a chance to see each other - like Halloween last year
|Tall Mom, myself, Rhys, and godmother Julie|
Or, if we're lucky - Christmas, too!
|Rhys with Auntie Julie and her husband Nick|
If we're not at a computer, we're using our phones to chat with them, or send video's of their godson on a nearly daily basis. It's great because we have The Walmart Family Mobile Plan, and we have a ton of Data to burn through at a cheap cost of only $39.88 a month for the first line. With that, I get unlimited talk, text and data AND I even get up to 5GB LTE data as well. So, if we're using Skype on the phone - I don't always have to be slave to a wi-fi signal.
If my kid does something stupid, or cute, or says something adorable, I can capture it immediately and send it to his loving godparents without having to worry about data overages etc. Capture and send. In other words, I can shame my son (bath time anyone?), or applaud the great things he does with his godparents on the go :)
Here's the best part - I may not be able to get Rhys to see his godparents as much as I want, but with all the money I save because of the Walmart Family Mobile Plan, and the fact that I only spent 69.82 on my LG Leon LTE phone, I can save up enough to send us all as a family to each of the destinations his god parents are at at least one more time a year than normal.
Listen - I know your given family is important. Some of us have wonderful relationships with their respective given families. But, I want you to remember your chosen family this holiday season. In fact, some people in your life may be your chosen family and you don't even recognize it.
Ask yourself - who is the first person you call if you lose your job? Or, if your girlfriend breaks up with you? Or, who do you call immediately when you get that promotion? Or if your baseball team finally wins the world series? More than likely - it's your chosen family.
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/10x3w or your local Walmart for current pricing.