When I was a little girl family meant a mommy, a daddy, 2.5 kids, a dog, possibly a cat or two and a pristine white picket fence. Or, at least that is the vision I have always had in my head.
(a HUGE storm rolled thru last Saturday - I'm not one for shooting landscape - but, damn, I think I did ok on this one, don't you think?)
Today? Family has many definitions. My daughter sat at the Sunday dinner table a few weeks ago telling us about one of her friends at daycare and that she has two mommy's. And, none of us batted an eyelash of that declaration. I know single moms. I know a few single dads that are sometimes better at this parenting thing than my husband and I combined. I know blended families. And, I know families that are a combination of his, hers and ours.
Family isn't a set definition anymore. It is NOT the 2.5 kids. Or, the dog. Or the cats. And, there certainly isn't a pristine white picket fence around my front yard.Families are tied together by love and bound with honor and forgiveness. Families are created by people that yearn for love, need love, give love, share love. Family is LOVE. Family is opening your home when most people would shut the door. Family is doing first and asking questions later. Family is about doing what is right when others might think it is wrong. Family is about giving second chances and the opportunity to start new. Family is what will always believe in you when no one else will.
Family. In my humble opinion is one of the most important elements that defines us as human beings. Family is at the center of my soul. It is my core. It is what holds me together when my exterior world is crumbling apart. Family is the only thing that can warm and break my heart all at the same time. And, that is why with my heart warm, my mind numb, and my soul overwhelmed, I'm sharing with you that we are no longer a family of 3, but a family of 4.
The details of how or why are not important. And, perhaps it is in the innocent wisdom of an almost 4 year old that has put it best. When she is asked about "J" and why he has come to live with us in our little green house she simply replies..."J lives with us now because he is family"