When I was younger my family for me was simply my dad, my mom, and my siblings. Things were much simpler then. I didn’t even question the role of the family, never though about. A family just was and no one can make it any different. Then I started growing up. I had my first classmate in 4th grade whose parents were divorced. I heard from my older sister how one of her friends was the 2nd family of their dad. My concept of family was shaken and a philosophical debate raged in my head, the process of which I wasn’t aware of. I realized then some families just wasn’t – JUST WAS. I didn’t know what to make of that.
Then I went to high school and things got even crazier. I met a friend who shared to me one time during a quiet night how her own uncle used to rape her when they visited his house. Now this totally flipped my world around. I got really mad and kept on pushing my mom asking her how bad things like these can’t happen. I never told her what the real case was though. I learned then that not family members fulfill their roles and some family you can end up hating. I also learned that even when you are the child sometimes you have to be the one to shield your parents from the truth. That was when I started growing up.
Now, I have my own family and each day I am re-learning the beauty of family. Things don’t always go the way they should but we just have to sort things out in our mind. I sometimes wish things would be black and white and the horrible side of some families can be wiped clean but then again my definition of family has changed. It’s not family is just is, it’s not just the family you are born in, it’s who we choose to bring in our lives and chooses to bring ours in theirs. It’s the good with the bad and hopefully more good than bad.
Till now there are days when I keep turning the concept of family over and over in my head but what I have learned is that more important than the concept is simply being there with and for our family. And THAT is my family philosophy.