Saturday, November 5, 2011

NaBloPoMo Day 5

or What Makes a Family Anyway?

The main book I wanted to pick up from the library Wednesday was a book called One Big Happy Family. It's a book with essays by various writers about different types of families you can find in these times. It's been interesting, and it's had me thinking.

What makes a family? Is it blood? Is it experiences? Is it living under one roof? Or is it love?

The common theme in the essays I've read so far has been one of love. The love of a husband and wife. The love of a parent for a child. The type of love that surpasses cultural challenges and societal norms for the areas they live in. The type of love that puts someone else's needs over their own.

The essay that has stuck with me the most, so far, has been one by a woman who is (or was) trying to figure out what her relationship with her son's nanny is now that some life changes demand that they are redefining things. Are they friends? Are they family?

How do we define family? How does someone go from stranger to friend to family member? I don't have answers to those questions, despite having it happen. In the absence of my extended family on my mom's side, I sort of made my own extended family. And yet, I can't say how these people, who mean a lot to me and feel like important bits of my family, came to be in that place.

Ace and I have been talking about various things that made me want to read about different types of families. It's probably a good thing. It makes me think, it makes me grow. And yet, it leaves me with questions.

How do we decide what makes a family?
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