When I was young lass I had a constant dream of growing up, going to college then getting married and having kids. I’m sure most girls grew up with fantasies of what it would be like to walk down the aisle in that beautiful white dress to the man (or woman) that we love. We’re raised to want something like that, aren’t we? We see it in movies, in our favourite celebrities, in books, and in our own family.
Well, the lucky ones do anyway.
I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again: My parents got divorced when I was five years old.
Luckily, I was so young that I don’t really remember it. It just seemed like one day my dad was there and the next day he was gone. Life continued…and it all changed the day that my mother met (and consequently married) her ex-husband. They got married on Valentine’s Day…and they got divorced eight years ago. I was twelve. I wasn’t that young, but I can’t remember him. At all. It’s like someone has crawled into my brain and completely erased him from my memory. I remember most things that we did as a family, but it was simply as if he wasn’t there.
Are you confused? I know I am.
I grew up with males in my life, but I’ve never felt like I had a ‘true’ father figure to look up to.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my father and I’m a true daddy’s girl through and through, but I didn’t (and still don’t) see him as much as I would like. It’s not through any fault of his…and I wish I knew that when I was growing up. It finally clicked as I was finishing high school and joining the “grown up world” of employment and financial responsibilities. Everything takes time, effort and money…and sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things just don’t work out the way you wish they would.
Does that mean I wish that they stayed together?
…If I’m being completely honest then maybe it did.
I say did because I see how happy they are in their respective marriages, and I can’t imagine it being any different.
I love my mum and dad, and my step-mother and step-father. I truly do. I love them and I don’t want anything bad to happen to them. Does that mean that it has been a complete breeze?
I don’t particularly like change. It scares me when I’m not in control of a situation.
My family went from three people to seven when my mum got remarried all those years ago. It was a hell of change. I went from sharing her with one person to five other people. I ended up loving all of them as my own brothers and sisters but we’ve definitely lost touch over the last eight years. Our parents got divorced, I expected us to lose touch. I think it would have been weirder if we remained close. I went through the same thing when my father remarried. I went from having to share him with my sister to three other people too.
My mother got married (again) at the start of this year and I had to go through the same process. Again. It was easier this time because I’m older (and wiser).
Ha. I’m definitely still an immature little twat and it’s a wonder she puts up with me sometimes. No. It was easier this time because I saw how happy her husband makes her…and his sons are pretty awesome. I cannot deny that fact. They are crazy and insane, but I love them all.
My definition of family has definitely changed over the past fifteen years.
People don’t have to be related to you through blood (or even marriage) to be family. I have an amazing group of friends that I wouldn’t trade for anything, and I have an absolutely ginormous family that I love with my whole heart.
Family isn’t defined by blood or marriage or a piece of paper or distance.
Some people walk into your life who are meant to stay.
They are your family.