Family is always a tough thing for me to be grateful for because our family is very small. We're not all that tight knit either. When I was little, I used to long for a huge family. When we had kids, Husband and I had dreams of our family being super close and having dinner with the grandparents once a week or so, but, that's just not our families. It used to make me very, very sad. And angry. Now, I'm just grateful I have family I can count on. Back in October when all four of us got the flu, my mom and dad came down to help take care of the kids. They risked getting the flu (which they, thankfully, did not get) to help out. I wish our family was closer, but I am so grateful I know I can count on them when we need them.
I firmly believe that you can also make family out of close friends. We've got wonderful "family" that live right across the street. Without them, our lives would be a little less full. The kids adore Aunt C and Uncle J. They are truly wonderful people that we had the good fortune of moving across the street from.
As for my little nuclear family, I would never be able to express what they mean to me. My family is my whole world. I already shared what a fantastic husband I have, but I am also blessed with amazing children. Can they be ungrateful, unruly, hooligans at times? Of course, they are kids. But even when they are at their worst, they are genuinely good kids. They have huge hearts. Even at their worst, they aren't half as bad as some kids that I know who do things to be malicious. I'm not just grateful for this part of them, I'm grateful for the whole of them. That seems like an odd phrase, but it's fitting. I'm grateful for every part of them, even their flaws. It makes them who they are. I don't pretend to think my children are perfect because they are definitely not. However, I have learned to embrace (most of) their flaws. These imperfections are what make us who we are. I'm not going to pretend that I wouldn't love to have perfect children, but I also know that my children are perfect for me.