B and I are a tiny family. Just he and I. We’re not the idyllic two parent, all sharing the same last name, kind of family. This becomes much more obvious around the holidays.

As my son grows older and more aware, he’s realized that we don’t share a last name. A simple thing like being the Joneses or Browns gives a feeling of cohesion that others take for granted. We are B and Melissa and it’s different. Not a bad thing, just a difference.

Sometimes I imagine that it’s difficult for a kid to have a last name and not know anyone else with it. His father insisted he have it, then walked away from the responsibility that goes with it.

Fortunately, we have amazing family members and friends that have become family by choice. With these people we’re just family and loved and included as such. Yesterday, B was showered with love, attention and presents. He came away grateful to have new stuff, but also repeating what was most important. When his friend came over today, he told him that friends and family are the best presents.