Today in Italy it is "Family Day", or Il giorno della famiglia. So I was thinking a lot about what is a family. How it should be a refuge and a place of comfort.
A family usually starts with a couple. In fact a couple is already a family. So is a single parent with just one child. Our society is re-defining what it means by a family all the time. Whatever the family is made up of though, it is hoped they are fond of each other and care about each other. That it all started with a couple that love each other. It used to seem simple to me, two people fall in love, decide they want to live with each other and then set about loving each other with all their hearts.
As the song goes "If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, just find a pretty girl, and make her your wife".
When I was about 2, I was sure I was going to marry my Dad, I'm sure that any girl who has loved her Dad will always see the good in men.
From the moment I realised I couldn't marry my Dad, I started looking forward to when I would have a husband. I'd lie in bed at night imagining where he could be. I would never be frightened again, he would be in bed beside me every night. I would be able to watch frightening films and go straight to sleep, safe, with him beside me. I would have children and look after them just the way I looked after my dolls. We would be best friends and have lots of fun. He would look after me. This was the way I thought when I was about 5. Now, my little grand-daughter seems to feel the same. She is fascinated by being in love, princes, boys protecting her and having babies. She asked me if she could have my house for when she has her husband and babies, but not until I'm really, really old, and have become a star!
What makes a happy family? We just have to read the news to know there are a lot of unhappy ones, and it is very sad to hear about distress in the family. When it should be somewhere that is the best place to be. Well I think it's a lot to do with wanting to be together, wanting the best for each other, respect, and above all, love.
Once I read that the best thing a man can do for his children is love their mother.
Being a happy family doesn't mean sitting around smiling at each other and agreeing all the time. I think it is a lot to do with acceptance, perfect acceptance, not a perfect family.