Skip to main content

What a family looks like

[Double post today, sorry.]

Ever since our neighbor had another female move in with her a few weeks ago we've been quietly among ourselves wondering what their relationship status was. None of our business, sure. But when one of them babysat she had a new ring on and then we have come to find out they are now civil unioned and have plans to get married. Not that they need to tell us and share their personal lives. They don't. Just good for them. The world needs more good news. 

Today on the L on the way to our museum visit, it got me thinking about the way you really can't assume anything about anybody these days. 

People frequently refer to Kelly as my wife or call me her husband. We don't correct them unless it seems like it may matter down the road in some way. And even between us we've developed a mocking term of affection by referring to each other as DLP. Domestic Life Partner. We have no clue what to call it. More than girlfriend-boyfriend. Partner has other connotations. "Cole's mom" leaves ambiguity. We live together. We're a couple. We have a family. 

We're quite unconventional about it though, obviously, since I stay home with Cole the majority of the time. Of course, you can't tell that by looking. We actually look like a wholesome traditional family. Just underneath that, however, is our raging liberalism, drama-free attitude of the way a relationship works, and decision to do whatever makes our chosen way of life possible. 

And is it even unconventional anymore? 

The point of us, our neighbors, the whole thing, really, is that families these days come in all shapes and sizes. Don't assume the pleasant looking family down the street is so "normal" and don't assume the crazy out there tribe of interconnected people down the street isn't actually pretty boring family that you just can't find a label for. 

I'll refrain from the political, religious, social, and other side discussions that come from the fact that we need to be more supportive of families in general. But my attitude is this--at the end of the day we all have a right to surround ourselves with the kind of love and support we want. And we, as a society, need to get better about recognizing how different and varied those choices can be for people.