The many families we belong to

We all belong to many families. Aside from the family you are born into, there are many surrogate ones that we are part of as well.

While growing up, I had many such surrogate parents, people who took me in and took care of me. I was their daughter’s friend or classmate but they treated me like one of their own. I remain grateful to them.

Summer brings back those memories. In my childhood, it was the season when I had nothing to do and was looking to escape the boredom of home. I would land up at my friends’ houses and spend days playing games, watching TV, chatting with their parents…Their parents fed me and made me feel at home. Some of them were quite badly off and I realise that I must have imposed terribly on them, something I have regretted over the years.

Looking back, I realise I was running away from a dysfunctional home. Dad was away travelling for work, mom was lost in her work and her thoughts or just too tired of it all and there was nothing to look forward to in my neighbourhood.

I would also envy friends their mothers; mothers who could cook well and keep immaculate houses. Mine couldn’t and I resented her for that. Today I realise just how much I love mom for having been different from others and owning up to it, staying true to herself. I loved her but I also loved the surrogate families I belonged to.

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