In my biological family, there are three of us. I am the oldest. But yet, I have older siblings, godmothers and nieces and nephews that make the world a better place. I have social media to thank for that.
I believe these type of tribes are needed and necessary to move in the world. They allow us space to grow, network and learn. In drawing from scripture, the Word of God says, “When my mother and father forsake me, the LORD will take me up (Psalms 27:10).” I believe that includes being given the choice and opportunity to make or create families that you never knew you needed, or didn’t think existed. I believe that this does have its roots in slavery: this is how we have survived! We have made bonds where there were none.
From playcousins, to the devastation by the Crack Epidemic, to being Black and Greek, or a church family–family is essential. In the era of life that we are in now, every woman over 35 is now seen as an Auntie. When I was growing up, my aunts where pillars in my life. They were people that I could learn from, ask questions to, and confide in. At this point, I don’t mind being seen as an Auntie! I know that some see that title as a “Mammy” of sorts. But, not me. I see it as–ancestral, really. Before colonization, we were bigger than a ‘family’–our people were composed, comprised of different tribes! There was no need to ‘be alone.’ The tribe may have changed, but the need has not.
For my adopted aunts, I ask them things all the time! For my two adopted older sisters? They helped me embrace turning 40, skincare, dating after divorce, and being a voice of reason in my life! These things are needed and necessary in this life we are living–especially, post pandemic! My adopted brothers still vet the men that want to date me and stick up for me as a blood brother would.
I was taught that aside from God, family is all we have. With that said, and in the building of family when needed and necessary, why not maximize this life with that kind of love and guidance?