Next week I’ll be attending the Vanier Institute’s Families in Canada conference. As a freelance writer focused on subjects relating to children, parenting, mental health and social development, this is the perfect learning event.
How I’ll attend the myriad sessions in only two short days, I do not know. Themes include everything from LGBT issues to divorce, poverty, gender, northern families, volunteering, education, violence and love; obviously there aren’t many topics that can’t be intertwined into the concept of “family”.
One of my favourite reflections on family is written by my writer colleague Christina Frank. The Half-Life of the Divorced Parent,posted on the New York Times’ Motherlode blog, is not only brilliantly written but poignant, clever and sad. I often think of Christina’s words as I go through my own parenting journey.
No one expert or speaker can define the complex topic of family as it means different things to different people. Trust, honesty, loyalty, friendship, secrets, ties, heritage, culture, blood relations, laughter, tears, journey, protection…
What does family mean to you?