January 31, 2011

Defining a Family

Mami got Thing Two a doll house for her birthday. I finally got around to putting it together and putting it out for Thing One and Thing Two to play with. While I was putting the pieces together Thing One kept saying "I want brother!" I was wondering what he was referring to. Once I put the doll house out Thing One raced over with Thing Two to play with it. This is the moment he picked the male figure and said "See, the brother"
What is funny is that I'm sure that the maker of the toy meant the male, the female, and the baby to represent a nuclear family (Mom, Dad, Child). That is the way I was viewing them. Maybe I was reflecting on the dynamic of my own family: Sarge, Mami and I. It was bitter sweet to me that Thing One did not see what I saw in those figures. I truly wanted to give my two children a mom and a dad under the same roof. Instead Thing One's definition of his family was a Mom, a brother, and a sister.

I have started to accept the reality of what I can give to my children as I look around and see that there are several definitions of family. Some are grandparents raising a grandchild. Some are partners of the same sex raising children. Some are single parents raising one or many children. Whatever the dynamic, I'm glad that Thing One was able to identify his own family better than I could. Whatever your definition of family, a child will most definitely know where they belong and how much they are loved.
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