Sunday, March 6, 2011

What is Family?

If you were to Google "what is family?" you would get about 1,460,000,000 results.  

According to an imperfect Wikipedia article, "In human context, a family (from Latin: familiare) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. "

The key point here is about children.  Children need a stable, healthy environment in which to learn and grow.  Without sounding cliché, I feel it is important to state that children are our future.  If they are nurtured and taught well, they will be responsible, well-balanced members of society.  If they are led by good examples, they will be ready to take on their roles in their own families, communities and our beautiful world.

Last night, two of the offspring and I watched The Kids Are All Right on Rogers on Demand.  It was a welcomed form of entertainment after a cold, wet afternoon of slogging around slushy streets to view our future community and a potential new home.

The family portrayed in the movie was certainly unconventional and non-traditional.  The story though encourages us to ask the question about family.  Can a family consist of children and two parents of the same gender?  Can a family be headed by a single parent?  Can it be one parent and one child?

In my novel The Year of the Rabbit, young Sera is presented with this question as her own family makeup changes as do the ones around her.  She struggles to understand while she loses and gains family members.

I have been the head of my own family as a single parent for seven years.  It hasn't been easy but is much more preferable to what we lived with for many years prior.  Although we have had emotional struggles and hurdles, I am hopeful that we can continue as a healthy, loving family.  

The kids are all right.

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