I'm sitting here, feeling excited about an upcoming event, ( Sisters in Song ) and amazed at the tiny bit of "real" family I have. By real, I mean the family I had all on my own before I married into half the state of Kentucky. The family that was mine before I had my own kids, the family that were all I had to call my own before I made some more.
People come from all kinds of families, and despite my sibling fantasies I hear through the grapevine that not all brothers and sisters are as close as I am with the ones I've always imagined I might have. I did ask Big Daddy once if there weren't just one brother or sister that was a big family secret; one that I could find and meet and fall instantly in love with and not be an only child any more. "I don't know honey, but if you do they're in Korea." was his answer. So, no miraculous siblings out there for me to have that with.
What I've done, instead of that, is find, bond and designate certain people who come into my life as "sister" or "brother," but then if I over-do that I start feeling like a member of a small church where everyone cools themselves with paper folding fans and shouts "amen!" at all the right places. On Facebook I claim Noelle as my sister, because in an alternate universe we could have been sisters-in-law, then ex-sisters-in-law-who-are-still-close. Personally I think the only reason her brother came into my life as he did was to bring her to me.
My real parents are my Big Daddy, and his mother, my super-hero Grandmother. That is the home base where I come from. When anyone yelled "Olly olly oxen free!" that's where I would run. Not long after my Grandmother left her body and went on to bigger and better things my Dad married Carol. I call her my Mom now, because if one had a choice in those things you just couldn't do any better. I do have an egg donor out there somewhere, but I've written so many horror stories about her that I feel I have to be very careful to make sure everyone knows that Carol (who I love like there's no tomorrow) is not the "mother" in those horror stories. Easiest solution? She's Grandma Carol, which is what my kids call her since she's the only Grandmother I've ever had to offer them. Oh, and I've also married into half the state of Kentucky, but I haven't actually met any of those people yet.
Really though, Big Daddy and Grandma Carol are my whole family, the ones that count anyway. My kids are bullets of hope that I have fired into the future, Big Daddy and Grandma Carol are the coat of arms on the flag that flies out behind me and says where I come from.
They're retired now, and have a motor home (It's called a "coach." It's larger than many apartments I've lived in.) and they travel a few times a year, from one coast to the other, sometimes up into Canada. Somehow Napa California ends up on the way to wherever they're going, and I get to see them for a day or two at least two times a year. This spring's visit coincides with a charity fundraiser that I wouldn't miss for the world.
I asked my BD if they would be interested in attending with us, and he said yes.
For people who go to tons of plays and other performances this might seem like a small thing, just another social event, no big deal. For me it's HUGE. This is an event planned and executed by a new friend of mine who is a novice in the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (Who they are and why I love them) and the event takes place in a piano lounge right at the edge of the Castro in San Francisco. A musical extravaganza starring my beloved Drag Queens and populated by a whole segment of important people in my life that my folks have only heard about and yet never met.
Think about it. I'm taking my parents to the Castro, and they're down for it. That is a thought I never imagined would come to pass. The reason I'm so excited about it is that they accept me and the family I've chosen to surround myself with and have never even blinked.
If I were Gay, and married to another woman they would be the best Tolerant Parents, and it would be no big deal, they would be on a PFLAG committee and be just as proud of me as they are now. I'm not though, I'm a straight woman married to a man and just happen to have a love and passion for a community that contains so many people that I consider the personifications of love and acceptance. My life is an alien world to golf-playing, republican upstanding citizens from Orange County.
Add that to the tattooing, the piercing, the rainbow colored hair, the off-beat political views and I think I would alarm or embarrass some parents, or at least prompt them to give short answers like "Oh yes, Laura's an artist and doing well." No way. My Big Daddy meets tattooed people and tells them all about me. I think he's even told his Rotary Club mates just who I am and what I'm about. I am who I am and they're still proud of me.
I think this makes them exceptional, personally. My life couldn't be any more different from theirs, and yet they're coming here and will dive right in with me to go where I go and meet who I love.
We'll get to hear Joey sing, which is a moving spiritual experience. They will get to meet and have hugs from Sister Sara, who helped to save my life last year. They'll meet Jen the Goddess and bask in her beauty and love. They will be with me and maybe see first-hand this branch of my chosen family and why they mean so much to me. They will have a new entry for their travel blog.
I invited my parents to the Castro and they said yes. There is so much more to that statement than you might imagine.