What does Family mean to you? The official definition is:
the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children
Although the days of two parents and 2.4 children are long gone there are still some parts of the World that sway heavily towards the traditional set up. In the words of Fatboy though, “we’ve come a long way”. Family can mean:
- Mum, Dad and children
- One parent and children
- Two same sex parents and children
- Grandparents and children
- No biological parents and children
It’s All About the Love
Whatever the scenario one thing that sums up ALL families is Love! As the Beatles rightly said “all you need is love” to make a family. More and more today we are hearing the words “my friends are my family” and as the world widens it’s views on ‘tradition’, people are choosing to create their families from the people they love.
Of course we can’t get away from the fact that it takes a female egg and a male sperm to make a baby, but in order to nurture that baby into adulthood it takes love, patience, sacrifice and strength. This can be given from anyone who holds that desire within them.
With advances in science, creating life outside the womb has provided same sex couples and single people with the opportunity to have a child. With sperm donors and egg donors it’s now possible for people to have children of their own, whether or not they be biologically connected. This has brought about an influx of longed for, cared for children into society that otherwise would have only been a gut wrenching pipe dream.
Families Through Necessity
Some children lose their parents and are brought up by relatives. This scenario creates a bond like no other. Maybe borne from grief and tragedy but strong and healthy nonetheless. Some children are adopted by people who are either unable to have children of their own or who simply wish to give love to a child that needs one. We have seen the ‘celebrities’ with their rainbow coloured family mix of biological and adopted children and we applaud them. Giving a home, a secure start in life and the things really needed from parents, to a child in need must surely be one of life’s greatest gifts.
Whatever the make up of your family there’s one string that runs through all of them- the desire to support and encourage each other. These family values are what makes us strong-what guides us through life and helps us bear the brunt of disappointments and heartache. With family behind us we can ‘conquer the world’- whomever that family may be!
So celebrate your family. If you are Mum and Dad, two Mums, two Dads, One parent, relatives bringing up children, Foster parents, adoptive parents- we Salute you, each and every one of you.