As Thanksgiving inches ever closer, I have been preparing myself to listen to the "I'm thankful for my friends and family" retort. Already heard echoing around during cafsgiving (our cafeteria hosts a Thanksgiving a week before the actual holiday), I have a minor adjustment to make to the seemingly universal statement. I'm not certain about everyone else, but I know that my close friends are my family. Here's how:
1. Unconditional Love
I am lucky and blessed enough to have found people in my life who will support me as I go on into the world and make many, many mistakes. I can come home after a disagreement with a friend and will still be asked how my day was, because we all have an innate sense of caring for each other. The good friends don't judge harshly or critically, they simply love and support.
2. "Have you eaten today?"
I'm not saying that I forget to eat. I'm saying that a good mom and a good friend will ask the same question if they know that you're stressed and have been running around from event to event with little to no free time.
3. Midnight Birthday Songs
I'm pretty sure my family at school are the only people who will consistently go out of their way to celebrate birthdays to the fullest extent possible. This past week, we've had three and each person got cake, balloons, or both. All were sung to, both in private at midnight, as well as in the cafeteria to be embarrassed to the school at large. The last time I can remember birthdays being celebrated so obnoxiously was back in elementary school when our families put up with unnecessarily expensive paper plates with cartoon characters on them.
4. Celebrating Achievements
No one supports like mom and dad. They're there for you opening night of your play, when you open up the results of your ACT test, when you finally mastered the perfect lay-up. But alternate family can support just as well. You know it's a big deal when the non-hugger in the group gives you a big squeeze after a major accomplishment; and you can always count on your people to cheer when you come home with that B you worked your butt off for.
5. Being Annoying
The only thing that could possibly be worse than siblings are darling, close friends. I'll be the first to admit, I can be kind of a butt head to my friends when I get in that special mood; I'll sit on them and giggle too much. We all make inappropriate fart jokes. And yes, that little section on the left side of the theater last night during the movie the school was putting on, you know where there were six girls all staring at their phones instead of paying attention, and giggling? That was us. The funny part about annoying in friend-families is that it's just like in a regular family: if the mood takes you all, you're the worst people to anyone observing. Own it! The best part of being with people you love can be being silly with them.
For this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my families; my friends and my biological. They both mean so much to me, and I am blessed to have such wonderful, compassionate people in my life. Happy Holidays!