Monday 20 February 2012

Family Day

In Ontario we celebrate Family Day on the third Monday in February. When our provincial government announced their plans for this new holiday in 2007 many people complained that a holiday in the middle of [our cold Canadian] February would be a waste of a vacation day. Some thought that Remembrance Day on November 11th would be a better choice. Others argued that another long weekend in the middle of the warm summer would be more enjoyable. At the time I didn’t give the debate much thought at all.

This year, with my new little family, I am so grateful for the day. We decided to invite Andy (Mac’s dad) to join us for the holiday weekend. He seemed amused by the concept. You Canadians and your happy-go-lucky-lets-all-hold-hands-and-love-each-other-holidays! But it was a good enough reason to board a plane and come visit his Canadian family.

Queers have a long history of recognizing and prioritizing our families of choice. Many of us (far too many of us) are excommunicated from our families of birth and to compensate for that loss we cling to our friend-families like life rafts. Tracy and I are some of the lucky ones. We both came from supportive families. And we have created a family of choice that has seen us through life’s struggles and celebrations. Our family is a perfect blend of blood and love.

On this Family Day we were privileged enough to be surrounded by that family. I am connected to Mac by blood, as is Andy. I am connected to Tracy by law. And our group of friends, who act as Mac’s aunts and uncles and cousins, are all interconnected by strong bonds built on love.

One day I will tell Mac about his first Family Day. I will tell him that his moms smothered him with kisses. I will tell him that it was an unusually warm February weekend but that his American dad still needed long johns and a parka. He didn’t complain about the cold when his son was snuggled next to his chest in the carrier though.

And I will tell him that he clung to his Auntie Tata as she rocked him to sleep – knowing that her arms are always a safe place.

I will tell him that his Auntie Rishma visited and that she brought his dad an Oilers toque so that he could match his son.

I will tell him that his uncle Brit helped his sore gums with the cold glass of a beer bottle.

And I will tell him how happy he was to be bounced around by his auntie Dharma as his cousin Cailey and I baked peanut butter cookies and squeezed 50 mini marshmallows into a cup of hot chocolate.

I will tell him that his first family day was filled with love and cuddles and giggles. And I will make sure he knows that although blood might be thicker than water, love is thicker than everything.

Happy Family Day from my family to yours!

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  1. What a wonderful idea :) I believe we are going to be starting Family Day in BC next year (or it may just be a political campaign promise ;) ). Will now think about using that day to celebrate our known donor as well...thanks for sharing!

    1. I hope that it passes! It is so nice to have a holiday that makes you reflect on family - whatever form that takes.

  2. Beautiful! :) I think we ALL need a national Family Day!

  3. This was so beautiful. I LOVED every description of every member of Mac's family. Mac is one blessed boy to be raised and loved by so many clear headed, intelligent adults. Happy Family Day to all of you.

  4. What an adorable (and authentic!) blog! As a new reader I look forward to more posts!

  5. Just came across your blog thanks to #mombizmondays on FB. Thanks for this beautiful window into your beautiful family. I am an American with deep Canadian roots, and love all that border crossing that will be part of your little one's life! Blessings, Marisa

  6. Absolutely loved the sweet pictures in this post. Mac is blessed to be surrounded by so much LOVE!

  7. Really lovely post! Really wonderful guys! And really-really amazing family. How I wish spend day like this with my parents and sister... But it's impossible because of our works.

    We will charge you an example. ;)

  8. your post made me cry...though not queer, I was "excommunicated" from my family when I was sixteen and have always clung to the 'life-raft' I built among my friends. Now that I'm a new mum, I am constantly awed at how important family has become to me the lengths that I am willing to do for it.


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