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February 23, 2010

I had the pleasure of having dinner with Eric’s family on Sunday night to celebrate his sister Jenny’s birthday.  As we were leaving the restaurant, it occurred to me how our family might look a little different than what one traditionally visualizes.  You see, our group consisted of three Caucasians, a Hispanic and two Asians.  Eric’s sister was adopted from Korea; her daughter, Camille, is Korean and Filipino.  And our son was adopted from Guatemala.  I rarely recognize that we are “different” any more, but Sunday got me thinking…

What is family?  For some, this is probably an easy question to answer.  But for me, it isn’t.  I have a broader definition of family than I suspect most of you do.  To me, family are those people in our lives that bind us to each other, those that love and support us and that we love and support in return, those that we accept as they are – warts and all – and who do the same for us.  Edward, my son, is absolutely family.  But so are his birth and foster mothers, because they bind our collective story.  To me, family isn’t just about blood or legalities. 

Since I was born, my guess is the definition of family has broadened for a lot of people.  Gay unions, adoptions, step families, and singletons who rely on friends more than relatives have all become more prevalent.  With those changes, surely our definitions have changed as well.  I actually looked the word “family” up online at  I would say they have struggled to define this word as it expands.  They now have 15 separate ways they define family.  Does that dilute the meaning?  In my opinion, no.  If anything, I feel it enriches the word “family” by making it more relevent and meaningful to a greater number people.

Some of you may be thinking, why are you even writing about this.  Afterall, this is a decorating blog, right.  Yes, it is.  But as the title of the blog implies, it is a little more than that.  Because our homes are more than that.  Our homes provide the backdrop for these critical relationships in our lives.  They are the places that will exist in our memories.  To me, my home is an extension of this thing I call family.  That is how this post fits.  And that is why I put time, effort, money and heart into my home.

My point, after all of this rambling, is to get you thinking about family.  What is family to you?  Has it changed over the years?

Happy Tuesday ~ Anne

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Keryl permalink
    February 23, 2010 9:17 am

    I’ve always defined family as “someone related to you by blood, marriage, adoption, or circumstance.” I always thought that summed it up well. 🙂

  2. Linda permalink
    February 23, 2010 9:31 am

    wow, how thought-provoking. No, families may not be defined as they were when I was growing up. When I was growing up in Meadow, Texas, everyone had two parents and most moms stayed at home. (Most of us grew up on farms and so our mothers were homemakers.) In our community, most were Anglos, Caucasian, White….whatever the politically-correct term is to you now. We did have Hispanic families, but most were laborers for the farmers, never owning their own farms. One black family moved in during my junior year of high school. Looking back, the class members of ’66 have discussed how hard it must have been for Annie and her sister Gladys. Annie did go on a trip with the FHA girls to the Dallas State Fair. Only years later did my cousin share, at a class reunion, that they did endure stares and snubs. My cousin’s name was “Richey” and Annie’s name was “Rogers” and so they were paired to go everywhere together. She said each time we entered a restaurant, she felt the prejudice from others. I, whose name started with “H”, was oblivous to this early exposure Norma had to bigotry. Since then, my family has changed…..deaths, divorces, distance. But, also additions….son-in-law, Eric, precious grandson Edward, Steven’s significant other, Lily….grandsons by Mike’s daughter, Deanna, and another son-in-law, Larry. So, families change, but do they really? It’s still about love, support, concern, fun times, and for my bunch……GAMES… parents played games with us, and so it continues. Never more evident than as little Edward wanted to join in on the fun at the Horton reunion this summer as the adults played Texas Hold ‘Em. Climbing in his dad’s lap, I couldn’t help but remember when I did the same in Pappy Coon’s lap, Anne and Steven did the same in our laps. It’s all about wanting to be “part of the family.” I pray our laps are always big enough for all of “the family.”

  3. mike permalink
    February 23, 2010 11:08 am

    Nice article. Kinda puts you in the mood for a little music. Younger folks might like Spice Girls, older ones The Pointer Sisters, and for the really really oldies you could even listen to Sister Sledge. All did “We are Family”. As you may guess……I like Sister Sledge.

  4. February 23, 2010 12:19 pm

    Beautiful post, Anne. It passed my goosebump test.

  5. sherry permalink
    February 23, 2010 4:16 pm

    Wow! Great blog. Yours and Linda’s brought on memories of fun times. Thanks….

  6. steven permalink
    February 23, 2010 4:53 pm

    Family is people who come to dinner who aren’t friends 🙂

    Just kidding. We have a good family, especially since visiting them takes an airline ticket

  7. Judy Duncan permalink
    February 24, 2010 12:34 pm

    I absolutely loved your post. The mind and heart are wonderful things that set in motion a lifetime of memories. Love to you and your family.


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