Monday, February 16, 2009

Family

I've been thinking a lot lately about family, and what that means. In mainstream U.S. culture, the idea of family is a "perfect unit" of Mommy, Daddy, Junior, and Sis with a dog and a cat. Two cars in every garage. If you're unusual, maybe Grammy lives with your little unit and shares the pocket-handkerchief lawn. Around the holidays, family means the people you go see once a year and stuff yourselves silly while "catching up". Sometimes it means who gets what when someone older kicks it.

While recognizing that genetic relatedness is a factor, it's not necessary to keep the idea of "family" restricted to such. If we're going to be outside of evolution to the point of polluting and climate change, we might as well get the benefit of being able to grow our families however we damn well please, is what I think. I'm lucky, because I have a lot of family. I have related-families that I've sort of appropriated, and I have a lot of family that isn't really related to me, but might as well be. I have individuals I've found and formed strong bonds with, and not all of them know one another, but they're all my family. You know who you are.

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