Five People in my Family

Silas keeps saying that he has five people in his family. I keep correcting him.

Finally, I held up my fingers as I said, “Mama. Daddy. Silas. Petra.” Then I counted them. “One. Two. Three. Four. Four people in our family.”

He looked at me like I had just shot a kitten.

“Mama. You forgot Carlos. He’s my brother.”

A sister and two brothers

He actually got me thinking about a conversation I had with a Chinese guest. She was here one night when we had Carlos over. I was trying to explain to her what our relationship was, but it wasn’t until I was dropping her off at her house that she finally understood that he wasn’t actually related to us. She said that, in China, you might mentor a family member like that, but to make a non-relative part of your life in that way would be quite unheard of.

Sometimes the porous boundaries of who is and who isn’t family can be muddling. My (genetic) family tree branches in some weird places. And then adding in a boy who has his own family, thankyouverymuch, just further complicates things.

But I do love that my kids have a big brother to look up to and love.


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