Our definition of family has changed a lot in the almost fifteen years Brian and I have been together.When we first met I was close to my grandma, uncles, and aunts and young cousins. Brian spoke to his family quite often on the phone but hadn't seen them in years. When we moved in together we didn't really see our families all that often but then they all (mostly) came out for our wedding.
Once we had our son we got a little closer to our family and I tried to get us out to see Brian's at least every year for 4 years straight on top of making efforts to see my mom and stepdad as often as possible. My father and I have had a rocky relationship and sometimes we're close and sometimes we're not. He has got to spend the most time with our son but will soon be away.
Currently we are far from most of our family. My mom and stepdad live in Florida, my dad is close here in Las Vegas but is moving back to California soon, Brian's family is all in Washington and the rest are pretty distant.
Our son doesn't have the traditional sense of family. He isn't close to cousins or aunts and uncles. He doesn't get to see his grandparents as often as he should. I worry at times about this distance from family and the effect it will have on him especially as an only child. Both Brian and I wanted more for him than the distance we had.
Our family has been reformed to include our closest friends. Unlike family; friends come and go. Some stick around through the ups and downs of life, some are fair weather friends. Babysitters also come and go. Currently my 17 year old brother watches our son on show nights or nights out and he is the closest family member Hayden has. They get along great and I believe they mutually enjoy hanging out. But my brother will be gone next month living in California.
I'm a little heart broken that the bond will be broken and am starting to feel like we are truly out in the desert on our own.
Don't take your crazy family for granted no matter what your definition is.