Back in the day when I was a little elementary school-er I remember having multiple assignments about “family”. One in particular was creating my family tree. For me, that usually included my immediate family and my extended family (i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many cousins). Once, I got super into the assignment and traced my lineage back to ALL the European Royalty of the 11th century (lots of incest back then), boy did I think I was cool after that. Since these assignments I haven’t thought much about my family lines. Of course, I still joke, as I always have, about my “brotha from anotha motha” which is one of my best friends from home, along with my “adopted sister” who has been my best friend for 16 years and counting.
But only recently, has my family really grown. Now, what am I talking about? It all started with a picture taken at a retreat for Freshman earlier in the school year. One of the retreat leaders and I posed for the photo along with two freshmen, both much taller and of different complexions than I. Immediately after the picture was uploaded to Facebook, comments popped up. “Look mami, papi, baby and baby,” one read; and so it began.
Quickly, the family grew adding sisters, parents, cousins, a family pet hamster named Pepito and even a “niece-n-law”, which included a very long conversation including diagrams and even charades explaining what that was to my suite-mate/sister. My “daughter” even drew me a picture of our family tree which now hangs on a wall in our suite for all to see. Our suite’s refrigerator even has my “kids’” assignments hanging to showcase their good grades.
Last weekend my friends came up to visit. Both my worlds, the people that mean the most to me, combined. My friends from my hometown were integrated into the Midd family tree. My best friend became my children’s god mother and my other two friends became the “cool aunts.” (Have I gone overboard yet?)
It has always been hard for me to be away from my friends back home, yet as I went from year to year here at Middlebury it is clear that not only are my friends here just as special, but they also are willing and wanting to add to “the family”. You don’t find that everywhere. I am so lucky to be here at Middlebury sharing my time with my family. I look forward to our time together and seeing my family continue to grow.