I realized an irony tonight as my little one and I settled in under a shared blanket on our worn-in couch, with both dogs nestled by our sides. He isn’t feeling 100% and has had a little cough, a very slight fever, and less energy than a typical fun Friday afternoon.
We had a small dinner and he elected to eat none, but I got him to eat a few raisins with his cough syrup, and prompted him to consume a small glass of milk to wash down the sour taste of the medicine. I gave him a choice of movies as I knew we probably wouldn’t even make it through one as he’d be ready to crash before halfway through whichever he chose.
The choices included our Netflix queue, our downloads from iTunes, and our YouTube collection – some we had on repeat from when our angel in Heaven was in and out of in- and outpatient chemotherapy, and some we’ve since collected for road trips shuffling our angel on Earth to and fro grandparent visits and spur-of-the-moment just-for-fun let’s-meet-the family jaunts.
But every single movie, past selection and present choices, have one thing in common. They are all about orphans. All the characters have lost parents, or found parents, or are looking for parents. It’s absolutely profound that we, as parents, who have lost a child, and have since adopted a child from foster care, are continuously watching children’s movies whose themes are centered around a non-traditional parent-child bond. It’s extraordinary.
Pete’s Dragon – Pete loses his parents and is raised by a foster dragon, only to be adopted by a beautiful forever family
Despicable Me – Three orphan girls find a forever home with a single dad who never could have imagined himself in that role
Mr. Peabody and Sherman – A dog raises a boy, and that boy discovers it’s better being raised with unconditional love by a dog than by any ordinary human
Our world, our story, is unique to us. But it is not that uncommon. There are so many unconventional families. And we should all embrace them. Because it takes courage, and strength, and resilience, to get where we are. And we didn’t choose this path. But we chose to create a family out of the circumstances we were dealt. And I LOVE our family. I love our choices. I love our dragons, and our minions, and our Peabody’s and our Sherman’s. It’s what makes us unique and special. It’s what makes us whole, and beautiful, and us. And I am so proud of us.