Oops! Several days after the fact, I’ve learned that May 15th was the 10th annual International Day of Families. There are SO many “special days” and remembrances on the calendar these days with no possible way to acknowledge them all. But, a day that honors families is for everyone. Absolutely everyone.
Established by the United Nations in 1993, the International Day of Families “provides the opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families worldwide.”
This is certainly another instance where the definition of “family” includes children and youth. The reality is that the 2013 theme, “Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity,” fits families of very disparate structures.
As an example, my immediate family, defined as people regularly involved and welcome in my life; the people I spend holidays with, includes:
- Our 13 y/o cat, Charlie
- My elderly aunt and uncle
- My husband’s mother
- My brother-in-law, his wife and step-daughter
- My best friend, my goddaughter and her brother
- A recently widowed longtime friend of my husband’s family, who is now a longtime friend of mine
We are small, but mighty.
The members of our family group have advanced “Intergenerational Solidarity” long before the United Nations told us to. As for “Social Integration”, well, we do the best we can.
What about you? So many of us live far from blood relatives, and “families” are built of people we trust and love. The UN is reminding each of us to honor our families, no matter what they look like.
(Image Credit: NBC-TV The Golden Girls)