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 dictionary.com. 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