There are many different types of families in this world as I saw so beautifully reflected at a recent event at my older son’s school. There were single parents, step parents, and grandparents who were all there to celebrate our children. The children danced to songs from around the world and recognized different types of movement and dances as a way of enjoying community as a family.
I grew up as an only child with a single mom in Chicago. Later in life I found out that I had siblings from my biological father. I remember finding out that I was no longer an only child at the age of 25. To say that I was elated would be an understatement. Turns out that we all shared the same dad, and three different moms. There’s something about seeing other people with your same facial features or tone of voice that makes it feel like home instantly, and I am blessed to have two beautiful sisters in my life.
I referred to my biological father as my biological father because I have never met him. My parents were married but divorced when I was a one-year-old and so I have no recollection of him. He was Mexican and Catholic and my mother was Russian Jewish, and as hippies they studied Buddhism together. Even though I don’t remember those days, I was raised with acceptance and celebration for everyone ingrained in me. It has always been a given that families can represent a beautiful mix of races, religions, and beliefs.
Now that I have a family of my own, two beautiful boys and a wonderful loving husband, I understand how precious this gift of family is. Everyone’s family looks different and it is our differences that make us beautiful. Whether a family has two moms, two dads, a host of stepparents, or is not related by blood; we now know that what really makes a family, family is love.