“My eyes are wet from the cuteness,” the little boy said and he rubbed them as he sat next to me and scrolled through videos of our baby granddaughter, Margo Lake. “She is so adorable.”
And then, “What am I to her again?”
“It’s fair to say you’re her uncle,” I said and I explained again how he can be part of our family and his family all at the same time. “Margo is lucky to have so many cool uncles.”
You get to witness the magic of family when you become a foster parent, and how its broad definition strengthens each member. Like the love that sustains them, families grow deeper, wider, healthier and more timeless as they expand. Neither is finite, each thrives on respect.
Happily, you don’t have to disparage any members of any family to make your own feel safe. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Everyone feels better after a nice snuggle under the warm blanket of compassion when the world feels a little cold.
New family members introduce all kinds of cool games, food, songs, stories and language to the group. We might never have known that you could carve a goose egg into a piece of art, or that the Irish word for grandma is Mhamó, or how to dance the floss, or that it’a polite to take a “no thank you” bite before you summarily dismiss all the food on your plate, or how many dogs you could meet on the way to school just by asking their owners if it was OK to pet them, or what a beautiful tribute to Paul Walker Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” is.
The young people we met through foster care taught us that.
And, the thing is, I want our granddaughter to know all of that and more. I’m grateful for all of the people in Margo’s life who will teach her all the things.
Like the four very cool uncles who make our dinner table conversations so interesting.