It wasn’t just you that I fell in love with; I also fell in love with your family.
It was your family who accepted me into your life, who made me realize I had found a good one. It was your family who made me laugh, who made me feel comfortable when I first walked into your house as a stranger. It was your family who told me stories about you, like when you were seven, high on Pixie Stix, and destroyed your step mother’s decorative pillows.
It was your family that helped me see where you came from, and what kind of man you would be.
I fell in love with the dog and his little squished, black nose. I fell in love with your mother and her jingling laugh. I fell in love with your brother, who, though he was younger, tried to intimidate me with his puffed out chest.
I fell in love with your father, who took me on a run outside in the West Coast sun. I fell in love with your step mother, who shared glasses of wine and stories by the stove.
I fell in love with your grandmother, who treated me as if I was hers, and always had been. I fell in love with the people I didn’t even have the chance to meet, but who smiled through a Skype screen or commented smiles and hearts on our photos.
I fell in love with the way I suddenly didn’t just have one place to call home, but two.
Falling in love means having two families. It means dinners at a new table, it means backyard patios that feel comfortable, it means couches and beds that feel new, yet familiar.
When I fell in love with you, I fell in love with everything—your smile, your heart, your inconsistencies, your flaws, the silly way you brush your hair, the annoying sound your mouth makes when you chew—but most importantly, I fell in love with your life, and the people in it.
I suddenly had mothers to call mine, a father to lean on, a brother to tease. I had doors and windows and lawn chair by the pool. I had a place, physically and emotionally, to claim as mine. A place, beyond your heart, to call home. And strangers to call family.
Photo Credit: RachelH