When They Say 'Blood is Thicker Than Water'


Because that is what they say, right?  Family relationships- and the assumption being that those always share DNA- are more important, more lasting, more valuable than any other kind of relationship we engage in.

But I like to push back now and then, and there's some room for pushin' here.

Because when they say blood is thicker than water, I say that sounds like a nice sentiment.  But what they don't understand is the water.  The water that drowns us, the water that saves us, the water that baptizes us, let me tell you about the water...

the thousands of tears I cried, waiting to hold that baby

the ocean we crossed to finally meet our son, and the one we crossed to make a home together

the bottles I warmed on the stove in the middle of those long nights in Uganda as he woke up hour after hour after hour

the hundreds of tubs drawn full with warmth and bubbles, sometimes with tenderness, sometimes with exhaustion, sometimes with anger and frustration, always with parenthood

the ice packs I have frozen and ready for when panic attacks torment him into believing that his legs are on fire

the bowl and the rag and how we washed each other's feet on Holy Thursday

the IV at the hospital when he swallowed that nail and I stopped breathing for a moment in time

the public swimming pool he threw up in

and the one he frequents with daddy when he needs sensory input

the snow he caught on his tongue and sled down on a trash can lid

all the tears I've dried off little brown cheeks

all the urine I've cleaned out of soaked-through bed sheets

all the drool I've caught with my hand and wiped on my jeans

all the cups I've filled, I've filled, I've filled

Rumi once wrote "there are hundreds of ways to kneel down and kiss the ground".

I guess I'm saying there are hundreds of ways to be family.

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Someday, the light will shine like a sun through my skin & they will say, 'what have you done with your life?' & though there are many moments I think I'll remember, in the end, I will be proud to say, I was one of us.

(Brian Andreas, Storypeople)