We all have lots of families – our nuclear family, our extended family, our family of origin, etc. Sara, our next door neighbor, says that we are her family by choice. We chose her, she chose us, and it all works out that she is a most valuable part of our family.
Sara and our family have been through a LOT together, good times and difficult times. When you have someone in your life like I have Sara in mine, you tend to go through lots together just because they’re always there for you.
I used to think I have a large number of cousins. Sara REALLY has a large number of cousins. Her dad was the youngest of 11 children, and that next generation can add up pretty quickly. Sara hosts her cousins and the rest of her family (family by birth and family of choice 🙂 ) at her farm, just south of town, every year on Independence Day. It’s a BIG party, which we haven’t missed in many, many years.
It’s catered by the local volunteer fire department (really.) and Sara supplies all the water guns and water balloons. We learned by the time Sam was two or three to bring towels and take the kids’ wet, muddy, farm mud covered clothes off before they get into the car to go home.
This year, Danny was having a great day and could really keep up with the other kids. This made Sara happy… she cares so much about my babies. And she cares about Dixon and me, and my parents… so she’s just become part of the family. We can’t celebrate birthdays without her, and she has a special, independent relationship with each of my children. You know, there are so many kids out there without anybody to love them, listen to them, accept them unconditionally but give them honest feedback and information about their choices… but my children, who have parents and grandparents, also have the blessing of having Sara. And you know, sometimes it’s OK for kids to choose to have some special time or talks or ice cream dates with somebody other than mom. Sara has an exceptional amount of wisdom and kindness to share.
Tomorrow, she’s coming to the rescue again as our schedule is a mess (as usual…) I’m having a little surgery on my hip (radiofrequency ablation, since the cancer and the adrenal insufficiency and all make me NOT a candidate for a fusion, which is what I wanted to have… but that’s a story for another day…), and Dixon can take me but has to leave after a couple of hours to go pick up Sam from a boy scout leadership training camping trip (so that he can leave again in 12 hours for a 187 mile bike trip, again with scouts)…. so Dixon will pass the baton off to Sara, who will, in her always calm, compassionate way, take care of me … just one of those things you do when you’re part of a family by choice.