by Lisa

We avoid conflict with one another, because if our own kin doesn’t love our silly selves, who does?

We are women.  The men came later, and some have stayed and some have left.

We do not yell, unless it’s really really necessary, which it’s not.

We tell our secrets to one another, with admonishments of, “Promise you won’t tell,” so we don’t have to repeat ourselves to the rest of the family.

We accept every new business venture with enthusiasm, even if it’s the third one in three months.  Changing minds, perfectly okay.

We share our food, our money, our homes, and our children.

We keep babies overnight.

We paint and draw and craft and build and write, every one of us.

We battle little demons without speaking of them, because we all have a matching set.

We do not cheat or steal, but we might lie to save your ass from going to jail.

We have messy houses and clean for company the first one or two times they’re coming.  After that, it just doesn’t matter as much.

We practice kindness.

We spend quality time looking at stuff in thrift shops, together, on separate sides of the store.

We can hold our liquor, or we don’t drink at all.

We save our toddler words and use them forever.

We have names, some chosen by toddlers, that don’t match our birth certificates.

We wear out the “Help From My Friends” segment of the Woodstock video.

We can cook turkey, but the stuffing never quite matches the memory.

We brag about one another to strangers, but rarely to one another.  We know we’re pretty cool.

We were all born a little too far apart, then the babies showed up in perfect sets of two at a time.

We marvel at one another’s hideous errors in judgement, but we don’t judge.

We don’t see one another enough.

We are taller than you, except for a couple of us.  They’re tiny.  No middle, no average.  Clothes shopping is a bitch.

We buy gifts for one another months in advance and then forget where we put them.

We wrap stuff off of our own shelves for birthdays, because we know you’ll like that better, anyway.

We let our kids pick out their own clothes, no matter what.

We were raised by Yellow-Dog Democrats, but some of us have swung the other way, and that’s okay, too.

We don’t talk politics; time is too short, and none of that really matters.

We will take your pet in, but don’t expect to get it back.  We might keep your kid, too.

We know that we are temporary.

We understand that we are all doing our best, or not.  We keep doing, which is the important part.

We are this kind of family, this kind of people.