You know you’re with family when the second thing someone says to you after, “There’s coffee,” is “I’m still farting turkey farts all over the place!” How awesome is family?! There are very few social situations in which you can behave badly or strangely and people find it amusing or understandable. Of course, by ‘badly’ I mean make a loud fart or dance oddly, not hurt people or do something illegal. Though, I suppose that depends on your family. There are families in which illegal activity and very bad behaviour is the norm. As I understand it this is not only accepted but encouraged. And, of course, there are some families in which certain types of behaviour are so unacceptable that the offending party is shunned and ostracized. Behaviour like getting knocked up at 20 with nothing but a high school education and no plan to marry the father. Plenty of families would turn that girl away. Not my family. My Nana and Great-Aunt knitted layettes. My Grampa and Uncle loaded a pick up truck with furniture and household goods and drove it from Ontario to Saskatchewan for me. My dad found me a nice apartment to move into when I came home from the Northwest Territories, drove me to the hospital and kept me from going mental in the delivery room. My mom and step-dad came out from BC and paid for my Great-Aunt to fly out for the baby’s first Christmas. My brother baby-sat at a moment’s notice when I really needed to get our of the house. That was all in her first year! In the intervening 17 years family has made sure she had nice clothes, bicycles, school supplies, canoeing and camping trips, weeks on Saltspring Island, time in art galleries to see Impressionist masters’ and Picasso’s work, cool clothes, a myriad other experiences, laughter, hugs, kisses, love … all the important stuff! Today my sweet baby turns eighteen! My mom and step-dad have graciously brought her into their home. She gets to see her ‘super-cool’ uncle a lot. She is learning Japanese, riding horses and working with dogs. She will be in Japan next fall! It was important for her to leave home and still important for her to be with family. How awesome is my family?!