Relationships are built, not granted.

My partner’s sister is pregnant. This child-to-be represents the first in either of our families. His sister and parents are more than a little excited about it, and the relational titles have been flying.

I’m more than a little uncomfortable with this.

This isn’t the first child to have entered my life; friends of my partner and I have a son who is now coming up on three. I was dubbed ‘Auntie’ to this child as well, and though it felt strange even then, I didn’t give it much thought.

That’s changed. In the last couple years, I’ve been spending a lot of time sorting out how I think about relationships and define ‘family.’ It’s illuminated why certain relationship constructions make me squirm inside. Continue reading