God gives us our relatives. Thank God we can choose our friends.
Ethel Watts Mumford wasn’t wrong, but there is one relative we choose. Only one.
Obviously, it’s not our parents. Parents are the riskiest genetic lottery everyone plays before birth, where you hit the jackpot if you get just normal people who love you and are able to raise you into a decent human being.
It’s not our children. I don’t have kids myself but all of my friends say their children were “like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”.
It’s definitely not our siblings. God knows how two same people can sometimes produce two very different offsprings. My sister and I may look somewhat alike but our characters are anything but. I also have bigger breasts, ha!
It is certainly not the wider family with all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins and all the many in-laws. Don’t even get me started on that lot.
The only relative we ever truly choose is a partner.
The one who asks you to share their life or the one you say “yes” to.
The one who’ll make your heart melt with tenderness one day and the one who’ll make your blood boil on another.
The one who will share the happy days and the one who will be the shoulder to lean on in the darkest times.
The one you’ll have the most intimate and romantic moments with and the one with whom you’ll argue over what toilet paper to buy.
The one who will motivate you and challenge you and be the voice of reason when you get carried away.
The one who you will make you unafraid about getting old because it will mean spending decades together.
The one who’ll hold your hand under the table at bigger family get-togethers and tell you, “thank God we have each other”.
You know. THE ONE.
Meeting our soulmates may be out of our control, but choosing them as our partners when we do is. So choose wisely. Really, they are the one and only family you ever get a chance to choose.