So. Wow. Here comes the family post. Holy crap, where to even begin.
Have you ever seen that book "Johnny has two Daddies?" The one they use to explain homosexuality to young children? Well Brett has two daddies and two mommies.
It's because they're Mormon, you know.
Seriously, seriously though. OK. So. Where to really start. I was about sixteen when my biological parents split up. I'd like to say that at the time, I handled it well.
I would also like to say I'm the Queen of An'tivah, but that ain't freakin' happening either.
*I'm here all week! Try the veal, tip your waitress!
Well anyway, I bounced around between both parents for about a year and a half, did what I could to stay sane. I'm not ashamed to admit that by the time I was 17, I'd had enough. That's when I met the DeGraws.
On the night before Thanksgiving in 2005, my friend Ryan came to see me at work (I was spinning pretzels in the mall like a true professional) and asked if I wanted to come stay at his place for the night until things could calm down a bit.
Looking back, I wonder what would've happened if I hadn't said yes. I think I would be an entirely different person if I hadn't taken that opportunity. In retrospect, neither of us knew it at the time; but he was offering me a place in his family.
It was the best decision I ever made. I was unofficially adopted by the DeGraws and lived with them for the rest of the year.
I can confidently say one thing about living there: I learned more about life in six months than I could've ever imagined. Living and laughing and loving was easy with them because for once I felt like I was in an atmosphere that promoted love above all else. And if you lived in the muggle version of the Burrow like they did, well, you'd understand.
HA HA HA H-
Alright, alright, I'll stop it with the bad rimshot jokes. Sorry, Ukulele Kid.
*Little dude is METAL.
Anyway, I think I owe them a lot for me being the person that I am today, and I figure you should have the backstory. My biological parents took a long time to adjust to the idea and the whole "I have another Mama and Papa" idea has always clashed, but over time they've become more understanding and our relationships have really improved, which is fantastic. I think the time I spent with the DeGraws ended up teaching me not to take the family I already had for granted, and I'll always be thankful for that.
Fast forward to yesterday, and my current situation: I have officially been denied unemployment, and given the resounding lack of employment opportunity here my father simply decides, point blank, that I can come back and live with him for a while. I'm not particularly proud of being 22 and living with my dad, but apparently I'm not the only one, and there's obviously something I need to learn here that my father is still willing to teach me, and I'm extremely grateful for that. We were talking yesterday morning and he mentioned that he's not sure I understand how much he loves me. I didn't know what to say.
Fast forward to today, and I'm talking to Mama D about stuff. We chat for a while, discuss a few things important, a few things not important, you know, the usual gab. Suddenly, my ickle sister Laura jumps on the chat. Now, I'm not going to hedge words: This kid is a genius.
I'm also DEFINITELY not hedging these words: The kid is a TOTAL GOOFBALL.
Anyway, she comandeers the computer and starts talking about her day, and her school, and my blog that she apparently reads (Remember, she's freaking eight) and the snowstorm and all of that. I told her I was writing my blog today and asked her what I should write about. You know, tongue in cheek, letting her play around, I'm sure I'd find an idea-...
"You should write about talking to your friends and family."
I knew then what I was grinning about. I am a man in a unique position. I have two entire families there to cheer me up, to have my back, to make sure I'm taken care of. I'm pretty sure that flat out makes me the luckiest man in the world. If my dad hit me with the same question today, I think I'd be able to tell him I understand.
It just took an extremely clever little girl to jumpstart my brain. Thank you, kid.
And thank you to all my families, big and small. You're always a wonderful reason to smile.