Coming home is always so emotional for me. When I lived in Washington, I could take quick trips home for long weekends. Now that I live in Utah, I can’t come home as frequently. Last weekend I went my cousin’s wedding reception, and got to catch up with some of my extended family. While there, my dad’s cousins were telling another cousin from an earlier generation that she should have been theirs. This is something that gets said in my family, and I love it. To me it indicates an intense kind of belonging. Not only are you welcome and wanted in your own family, you’re also wanted in other families within the larger extended family–because you have the same ears or attitude as a second cousin or something.
I feel that way about one of my aunts. I spent a lot of time with her growing up, and she made me feel like I was one of her own. And now, I feel that way about my nephew. My brother was a blonde with blue eyes, and his son has the exact same coloring. They really look a lot alike. Despite that, my nephew still looks and acts a lot like my dad and I. He’s got my forehead. And, I feel like he should have been mine, and I treat him and love him like I would my own child. And that makes it very hard to leave when my vacation is over.