On Saturday was my wedding. As the minister was preaching, our two-years old nephew danced in front of us, and then approached my husband to sit on his lap. I looked at the first row of chairs in the sanctuary, where my husband’s family was sitting, and noticed that our six-years old niece wanted to move and join us to. I did what I thought was appropriate: I signaled her to come forward and sit with us.
There we were; my husband holding our nephew on his lap, and me holding our niece on my lap. Then I looked around and saw my new family. There was my brother-in-law and his (female) partner, my husband’s cousin and his girlfriend, and a couple of friends who have been like brothers to either my husband or me. There was not a single one of my blood relatives. None could be there for different reasons and my parents and sister have already decided I am not part of their lives. But as I was looking around at my new family, I realized how “family” is such a wonderfully diverse reality.
People talk about “traditional families” as if there was always such thing. In reality, families have always been diverse. There is no such thing as a “traditional” family. There is ideal of family. Our families come in many forms and expressions. I looked around and saw how my family present there was the “new normal” if you will. My brother-in-law and his partner have been together for many years but are yet to get married. He is raising her eldest daughter, who spends time with her birth dad and his family every other weekend. Our nephew was born two years ago, the product of the love of my brother-in-law and his female partner. Then, there was my husband’s cousin, who is dating a lovely, young, white American woman who speaks no Spanish (believe me, that in itself is a HUGE thing!) They were attending the wedding of two men who had decided to commit to each other and to love each other.
Believe it or not, this is more common than people want to admit. Families come in so many varieties and forms! It is such a wonderful thing to see the diversity that exists in life, and to enjoy this diversity with all of its wonders and beauty. Family is family is family… no matter what form it takes…