My sister is my only close friend since we have moved. Our ward is very difficult to make friends in and I haven't had the energy since I've been so sick to work very hard at it. Heidi lives super close and it is just easy. We get out kids together so we can cook/bake/clean/gossip. We eat meals together when our husbands are working. Aiden thought for the longest time the baby in my belly was his cousin, Heidi's daughter, Baby Claire. We flow together well with how we parent and I back her and she backs me. We have similar tastes for decor and clothes and organization. Things that I have avoided, like organizing my pantry, are easy and fast when she is around. She has been a life saver so I haven't shriveled up and died from being lonely and bored.
As much as I love my sister, she is the only one that I talk to in my family. And you know what, I don't miss my parents. Obviously, I have no control over a relationship with my Dad since he died 18 months ago. However, right after Thanksgiving of last year, I told my mom I needed her to leave me and my family alone. I've seconded guessed that decision a lot in the last year, but I am so happy and I don't miss her. You know why?
I have Evan's family.
I have called my in-laws "mom" and "dad" for years. We drop by whenever we are missing them and many many dinners have been eaten at their house. They are patient with our loud, LOUDER, LOUDEST, in your personal space, interrupting children.
Any time we are struggling or need support--we go see Mom and Dad. I always miss chatting with her when we haven't been over in at least a week. When we had no car the first few months we were married they would pick us up to go grocery shopping, go to the hospital, have dinner and do laundry at their house. We wouldn't have survived this summer without them being willing to come across town and stay at the apartment in the middle of the night so Evan could take me to the ER----6 or more times in 4 weeks.
And since I was the first one married in, I feel like I've been there for so much growth in the family. When Zoie was 12 and would tell me how much she liked a girlfriend of Evan's and wished they would date. Now she is 18, in college, and we proudly hang several pieces of her art on our walls. Avery graduated college and is close to graduating vet school. I saw Nolan go on his mission and come home to internet court Zaida...and now they have an almost 3 year old. I feel privileged to be the one who has/will hear the details of their first date with their spouse/how they met, followed every pregnancy, seen them all eventually graduate college and pursue life goals. It's been a ride...my first Thanksgiving Mom didn't ask me to bring anything and no one ate the pies I made. This year...Mom asked me to bring multiple dishes, although she probably still won't eat them :)
It's just nice to have a comfortable place to fit. I have more of a deep lasting relationship with Evan's family than I did with my own parents and brothers. I've seen the trailer park in Colorado that Mom and Dad met in, I've seen their house in Oklahoma. I know most of the stories when they reminisce, although I still don't track with Evan's grandparents stories involving second and third cousins of theirs. However, I'm okay with that.
I love my place in their family and I wouldn't change it for anything. I love Evan's parents and being in their family has made it so I do not miss my own parents. As I'm about to have my 6th Thanksgiving as part of this family, I'm happy. I'm happy to be there, I'm happy to be a part, I'm happy with my family. I look forward to this time of year with them.