Saturday, November 28, 2015

What Is A Family?

Lots of people, including me, were able to spend Thanksgiving with their families. But what, exactly is a family?

I looked up the word in my college dictionary which was published in the early 1950s, and found seven possible definitions.

Gone are the days when typical families consisted of a husband, a wife, and their offspring. Of course grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and all of those people's own families were considered part of an extended family then, too. That was a bit complicated.

But now so many people divorce, remarry, or have children by various partners, with or without legally marrying, it can be even more difficult to keep all he relationships straight.

My own family is so extended with cousins' cousins and in-laws of in-laws my husband gave up trying to keep the relationships straight and coined the term, step-neighbor-in-law, to refer to all of them.

But I consider all those who participate in family gatherings and holiday celebrations year after year to be my family even if they are step-neighbors-in-law, and I love seeing them at those events. It doesn't matter if we're legally or biologically related or not. I love them and consider them my family.

What does the word, family, mean to you?

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