My son’s superpower is to charm his friends’ grandmothers. Abuelas, Nonnas, Grans, Grandmas, Mameres… they all love him. I always like to get reports of Child’s behaviour in the wild, and especially if the reports are of him being genuine and adorable and helpful. That’s what all moms want. Now that he’s a grown-ass man, I like it even more that he gives hugs and takes time to speak to his friends’ families.
I have other friends who have challenging relationships with their families. From total estrangement to just a desire to see their families as infrequently as possible, I can see how it’s crucial for some people to have a family of choice. I’m in a very fortunate place to have strong bonds with my family of origin, and sufficiently strong relationships with my friends (and their families) that I get bonus famil(ies) of choice. I’m glad that Child is developing those bonds too.
In my house, family comes in through the back door, without knocking. Child’s friends do that. I hope they never feel like they can’t. In other houses, I like that Child knows what makes him family, too.
This Lent, I am grateful for all the members of my various families. This Lent, may I give as good as I get.