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Family Is Who You Make It

August 11, 2022

Technically, she’s not my niece. (But, we aren’t worried about technicalities.) I assumed it was just going to be her and her daughter. She showed up with her daughter, her boyfriend, her son and a puppy.

I didn’t know my daughter was going to have the puppy is that okay?

We’ll figure it out.

My niece unexpectedly came to visit. She had a family emergency and ended up in Park City.

You are welcome to come stay. If it’s easier to just head straight home, we’re fine with that too. Whatever works best for you.

I haven’t seen my niece, my sister’s daughter, since she was about eight years old. And now she has her own eight year old. And, I’d never met her boyfriend. And the puppy was new to all of us. But, they are all four now sleeping in my spare room. (It’s a big room, a queen and twin bed plus a baby’s bed. Except the puppy, of course. He’s in the garage, whining.

Why is my long lost niece, her two kids and boyfriend in my spare bedroom?

Because she’s family. In my family, you get to choose your relatives. I’ve had relatives, siblings even, that I didn’t claim. And I have other relatives that are shirttail, at best.

But, part of being family is who you decide to make room in your heart for. Room in your heart and room in your house.

Fortunately, we have a big house. It used to be full of kids. Now, not so much. But, even if we were in a little two bedroom apartment, there’s always room for family.

Tomorrow my niece and her family will head back to California. I hope it’s not 20 years before I see her again. But, regardless of how long it is, I can guarantee they’ll be room for them to stay with us. (Except maybe not the dog next time.)

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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