Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

What is family?   According to Webster, it’s “a group of people who are related to each other, a person’s children, or a group of related people including people who lived in the past.”  While this definition is fundamentally correct, I don’t necessarily think it’s encompassing enough.  At least not enough for me.

In High School, all my friends’ parents were Daddy (Parent’s name) and Mamma (Parent’s name).  The ones I still see, which is an extremely rare occurrence, still get treated to those names.  And for the most part, it still makes them smile.  That’s not to say that I see too many of these people, but when I do, all those memories come flooding back.

Don’t get me wrong, I have blood family.  Some I claim, some I don’t.

My parents

My parents

This is my Mom and Dad.  My Mom… well, she’s my Mom.  Always wants what’s best for me and for me to get farther in life than she did.  But if she doesn’t like the way you’re getting there, she’ll definitely let you know.  I love my parent’s, but sometimes, they’re definitely parents… you know what I mean.  And that guy… he’s my step-dad, but he’s always been there when I needed him.  He was the one that gave me lunch money, taught me to drive, told me I wasn’t going to leave the house dressed like that and walked me down the aisle.  Now that I’m an adult, he’s the one that rescues me when I lock my keys in the car, brings the truck when I need to move for the 2nd time that year and listens to my Mom bitch about all the “stupid decisions our daughter is making.”

My brother - can you believe he's the older one??

My brother – can you believe he’s the older one??

This is my brother.  I love him because he’s my brother, but there are times when I don’t like him very much.  Even at his age, he has a tendency to be extremely immature.  To not take responsibility for his own actions and to look for someone else to blame.  He drives too fast, doesn’t clean up after himself, and complains constantly about living with our parents again at his age.  He’s always broke and still owes me money for his delinquent cell phone bill.  But… he’s also, loyal, funny, irreverent, boisterous and sometimes overprotective.  He’s my big brother and I love the jerk!

Sissy Poo and Niece

Sissy Poo and Niece

This is my Sissy Poo, and her daughter.  She isn’t actually my sister.  She’s my brother’s ex-girlfriend.  But in all the way’s that count, she’s my sister.  And that little girl is my niece.    We even got matching tattoos to prove it!  Sissy Poo, not the niece.  Even though they have been broken up for several months now, I still maintain as much of a relationship as possible with her, given the 3 hour distance between us and the fact that we both have full-time jobs and she has a kid.  Nah, neither of us are at all busy!  She and I connected on a level that I’ve never had with any of my brother’s significant others.  Am I sad that they’re no longer together?  Of course.  Is it what was best for them?  Maybe, probably, not really any of my business.  Does my brother not understand how we can still be friends since she’s no longer a part of his life?  Absolutely.

And that little girl… she’s my tiny nerdy niece in training.  She named her Christmas Ninja, Admiral Akbar and R2D2 goes in her Littlest Pet Shop playhouse right along with the animals.  The Snapchat videos I get of her are bittersweet.  She’s growing up so fast and I’m missing it because the dynamic of our connection has changed.

The Roommate

The Roommate

This is my roommate.  As angry as he makes me, especially lately, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he will ALWAYS be there if I need him.  He’s hardworking, loyal and again, a little overprotective.  He’s a bit of a rescuer and sometimes a fixer but mostly just a listener.  He’s got big plans but no big time.  His priority list is simple, God, Family, Work.  And since he considers me family, I’m okay with being number two, at least I made the list.

The We Heart Nerds nerds.  I don’t have a single picture of them all and I wish I did.  We do so much together.  These people, with all their differences and foibles and oddities are my family.  They’ll be there if I need them.  A shoulder to cry on, and extra car if I need to move, a couch for the night or just when I don’t want to be alone.  I cannot imagine my life without these people in it.

There’s a couple of stragglers here and there that don’t really fit into any group, but they’re my family too.  They know who they are.  They know they’re important to me.

The Man and I went as Popeye and Oliveoyl for Halloween 2013

The Man and I went as Popeye and Olive Oil for Halloween 2013

And last, but most definitely not least… The Man.  Maybe it happened too fast, but without him, I don’t know where I’d be right now.  Probably alone and crazy working on my cat collection.  Thank you, Baby, for saving me from a future of curlers and cat hair!

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