Friday, December 10, 2010


In tune with each other
London, ON, September 2010
[Click here to share your own interpretation of family]

Despite 1950s and 1960s America's best efforts to convince us otherwise, there is no one definition of family. The so-called nuclear family is laughably staid and non-representative of reality, a throwback to a time when greater sophistication in media technology and use allowed us to shape the perception of our world in ways only previously dreamed. Problem was the Beav's mom was unlike any woman, then as now, on the planet. And no amount of tinkering by a producer could change reality.

Ideals have a funny way of falling from the sky when we least expect, don't they?

Which leads us to this picture. Our daughter and youngest son sing in the choir, and here they were final-practicing before the Jewish New Year service. The kids had formed a remarkably cohesive unit as they got ready for their big debut, and as I stood at the periphery of the sanctuary and listened to their not-so-little voices carry, I closed my eyes and tried to pick out each child.

I couldn't. They were so in sync that they seemingly became one voice. It was lovely, both to hear and to feel.

I was in choir this year - the grown-up one, according to the kids - and we followed in my late Zaideh (grandfather) Akiva's footsteps, as he also sang in choir in Montreal. I remember my childhood self going to synagogue with him and sitting in the front row as he got up in front of everybody and sang in perfect tune. I guess he was already teaching me then how richly varied the concept of family could be. Wise man, he was.

Your turn: How do you define family? (Oh, and when you're done, I hope you'll pop over to my wife's blog - link here - as she's joined up with this week's Thematic, too.)


Dawn said... your title for this.
I was just thinking about "the family".....You're right. No amount of "production" can lead us to one particular "type" of family.
I can't even define more than....a group of those who love one another and share a common bond....That pretty much opens it up to a lot.

Going over to check out her Thematic Photograph! Thanks for your share with us once again!
Have a great weekend:)

Karen S. said...

Family can come in so many various forms can't it? As you were sharing your children's chior group I thought of my daughter's choir, Speech Classmates, Girl Scouts and they all were such a family for her and myself as well, with my participations When you bring people together, sharing in life and learning and fun you can become family real fast!

darlin said...

Wonderful post once again. Now you have me thinking on how to phrase what family is to me, I know in my heart what it means but to put it into words...I'll attempt to.

My family consists of biological children, I have two step fathers, one my mother married, the other one I adopted or he adopted me. We share a love that only a family could. I could continue to list my "family" but think that I have my "definition" now.

In a nutshell, my family is love. I welcome into my circle those whom I love, either from birth or met in my growing or adult years. It really doesn't matter if we're blood or not, in the big picture that's irrelevant. I believe that we are all children of God, I just love some of God's children more than others and for a variety of "reasons" and this is who I choose to call my family.

I'll check your wife's blog. Until next time... take care and happy "shooting." :-)

Anonymous said...

Family.. Hmm.. growing up I had a close family (3 brothers, lots if aunts, uncles, etc). Then I had my own family (5 children), then a divorce. I had to redfine (in my mind) what family is/was and I came up with this.. Family is whomever we love, care about, protect and include in our hearts. So for me my family is the World...