The older I get, the more I have come to realize that the word "family" means many things to me. Of course it includes the typical parents, grandparents, etc., but it also includes so many more important people in my life too. Friends are right up there on the list naturally. There are also a couple of people that are in our lives that are sort of related and sort of not...lol...I know it's confusing, but that's sort of how my family is. It's quite the blended family I suppose, which I think is nice.
Anyway, today Emma and I went to the pumpkin patch with some of my most favorite people around. The Mom, Grandma, and brother of my 2 nieces stopped by and picked us up to head out for some Halloween fun. Sandy (the Mom) and Lil(Grandma) are two of the most caring people I have ever met. Without fail they always ask about Emma and how she is doing. They are always there to support her with her fundraisers for JDRF. They are down to earth, honest to goodness caring people. It's not everyday that you come across people like them...and I am so greatful that they are in our lives.
We had a little getting lost on the way there driving fun...walked around in the sun and talked while the kids played on the bales of hay set up everywhere, tractor ride through the field, face paint, corn maze (got lost again...lol!), and even saw some farm animals. It was a great day!
I have really learned too that kids are better judges of character than most people. They seem to have a sixth sense about it and are naturally drawn to those who have that special spark...that warm caring heart...those that are truly good people. When the day was over and it was time for Emma to get to bed, I walked up to her room with her to tuck her in and say goodnight. I've found that this is usually the time of day when she will say whatever's on her mind...something that was important to her that happened that day...something that happened to her...something that she needs to get off her chest. So, I usually hang back a little bit and let her bring whatever is on her mind up to me in her own way. Well, tonight as she lay her head down on her pillow, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said that she had a really great time today at the pumpkin patch with everyone. She told me that she knows that she isn't really really related to Sandy and Lil...but she feels like she is anyway. She told me that she thinks that Sandy is her funniest Aunt ever and that she wished that Lil was her Grandma too because she is SO nice. I told her that if she feels in her heart that they are family...then they ARE...simple as that. I told her that it doesn't matter who is in her life and has the "title" of being an actual family member through blood or marriage. If she feels that special spark in her heart when she thinks of them or is with them....then they ARE her family. So many people in the world put so much emphasis on the title or the label they are given or already have. Even more people take that title for granted and don't really live up to it in our eyes. So, I think it is important to hold on to those special people we meet in life that give us that family feeling. Hold on to it and be greatful for it.