“Blood is thicker than water” is a common saying when talking about family loyalty and bonds. But that’s not the entire quote. It’s actually “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” Basically, the blood shed in war bonds you more strongly with your fellow soldiers than genetics. It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? DNA isn’t what ultimately binds you, but rather the experiences you have together. That is what makes you family.
We can’t help who we’re related to, but we always have a say in with whom we have our bonds. Blood being thicker than water is basically just science and has nothing to do with the ties that truly bind.
the water of the womb.
Some of my closest family isn’t blood. It’s not a secret that my family growing up was… unconventional. Being raised by people who actually have zero blood relation to me has definitely helped to mold my view of family and family bonds. For as long as I can remember, I wasn’t (usually…to many) “the adopted one”, I was just a niece, a cousin, a little sister, etc. I knew I wasn’t actually related to anyone; in fact I was acutely aware of this circumstance. At the time, my feelings swung from “we’re family” to “I don’t belong” to an incredibly awkward blend of the two. No matter how I felt about belonging or where I belonged or even if I belonged; they were and are my family. New baby? I’m running over to celebrate! Your birthday? It’s one of my favorite days of the year! Wednesday dinner? What am I bringing? Whatever our relation is; they are my family.
These are the people who have quite literally known me my whole life. Every phase and stage. And as my family? My family is everything. The water of the womb.
the blood of the covenant.
My friend circle is small but mighty. Quality > Quantity. I love my friends wholly and completely. There’s never been a single doubt where I belong when I’m with them; I know exactly where I fit. Our bonds may not be DNA derived, but I will stand by them and for them whenever they need and I know they will do exactly the same for me. Why? Because we’ve seen some shit.We have stood in the sunshine and danced in the rain together. Most of my dearest and closest friends have been in my world for over half my life. In my unique ties with every single one of my nearest and dearest, we are the locked vault of secrets that unite us.The ties we have are forever. We can go months without contact, but when that bat signal goes up in either direction, we are there for each other.
We’ve been there for each other through some of the worst and some of the best chapters of our lives. We’ve battled our way to adulthood together. My friends are embedded forever in my heart. The blood of the covenant.
water v. blood
My upbringing has blessed me with a perspective that, frankly, I love. The childhood I had has forged my soul into what it is today. You are tied to whomever you choose. Relation or not, it doesn’t matter. There are times you need to cut the ties for your own well-being and that is okay. DNA doesn’t dictate your loyalty or closeness (so to speak). It. Doesn’t. Matter. Your bonds are yours to create.
Frankly, I am much closer to some friends than I am to some family members. I trust some more. I lean on some more. If a call for help came from certain friends at the same time as certain family, I’d take the friend call first. That’s just the way it is. And it’s fine. It’s all in that trust factor. Not DNA. Trust.
water and blood
Sometimes you’re born into families. Sometimes, you’re raised by those who accept you as family. And sometimes, you create your own family. I am blessed to have all of that. We share blood. We share history. And we share battle scars. There’s been incredible closeness and long absences. And still, I know I have them and they know that have me when it matters.
Those are the ties that bind.