Growing up, I was the girl who had to stay home for family dinners. I was not allowed out on holidays with friends. I was at every family party. And honestly, I was always with my family!

At a young age, I did not know any better. I enjoyed the dinners, I enjoyed the game nights, I enjoyed the family parties. When teenage years crept up, that is when I began to realize. Not EVERYONE hung out with their family like I did.

I did not think about it too much, but one day, everything changed. My friend approached me and stated, "You always hang out with your family. You hang out with them way too much."

At that moment, I pondered her statement and questioned myself. Was I doing something wrong? Was she right? Was this such a thing?

Years passed and I am now here to say, I will NOT apologize for hanging out with my family "too much." Everyone may have their views or opinions, but I will not change mine.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying time with the people who love you unconditionally.

Creating special bonds with your parents and siblings, making unforgettable memories, and cherishing the word "family" is so important in my eyes.

Although I may have missed out on a couple get-togethers with friends, parties, or events, I am content with the memories I do have.

As I surpassed adolescent years, I began to realize the reason for my parents wanting to spend time together as a family.

I would see stories on the news about tragedies occurring in different families. I would see children without parents or abusive parents. I would see children cry that their parent did not come home for dinner the night before.

These stories and events painted the big picture for me.

I was so damn lucky. Why would I apologize for hanging out with my family too much when there are people out there with no family?

It was not logical.

With time, the events got worse. We are now in 2018. Children are being separated from their families in this country. Children are trapped inside homes with abusive parents with no way out. Children are losing their parents to drugs. Children are losing their parents to drunk drivers. Children are losing their parents to cancer.

Although these events are not new and have been around for decades, it stings my heart.

Being 20 years old, looking at my parents and pondering back on these past years, I am beyond thankful.

I enjoy coming home from college and spending quality time with my family because I will never know when one of these tragic events could happen to our family. In the blink of an eye, your family can be taken right from under you. Hug your family members tight.

And, yes, mom and dad, I will be home for dinner.

Next time you have the chance, sit down with your family. Whether it is a quick conversation for 20 minutes or an entire family game night, it means something. Trust me, there is no such thing as hanging out with your family "too much."