Wait! Don’t leave! I do need you — I’m just going somewhere with this. Trust me.
I have an awesome family. I may have mentioned them a time or two.* This is, without question, the biggest blessing in my life. It started the minute I was born — I have always (ALWAYS) been surrounded by caring hands and watchful eyes. I have never been without a soft place to land, a listening ear, a person who’d be willing to drop everything to come help me.
I haven’t always been grateful for it, to my shame, but it’s always been there.
If there is a drawback to this situation, is it this: that our family can look impenetrable and self-sufficient from the outside? I have friends, and I love them dearly. I need them, for insight and laughter and sympathy and just the opportunity to get out of the damn house. But I don’t call my friends in the middle of the night when Orange needs to go to the ER. I call my mom. And if she can’t come (although I can’t think of a time when she didn’t), I’ll proceed on to one of the many back-ups, all of whom are related to me in some way.
My friends have this with each other, a lot of the time — they rely on each other as much or more as on their families. And I’m not saying I’d trade, because a lot of the time there’s some real hurt in their family relationships that have gotten them to this point, and I’m sorry for it. I’m just saying, I know how much deeper my bond is with my family because we need each other, and sometimes I’m sorry for the reserve that keeps me from having that deepness with my friends.
*It dismays me to discover that there don’t seem to be any posts devoted to my brother. So, coming soon: a post that will dismay him, but satisfy me. I AM the older sister, after all.