I live in a big family, six kids, two parents. Granted, we're not the Duggers, but to an average American household, we are pretty large. Seriously, you should see the stares we have gotten when strangers see our fifteen passenger van pull up. They halt and watch the train of kids getting out of the back, unable to leave until the last kid is out, then they kind of shake their heads and move on. Knowing that I have an audience when I am getting out of my family vehicle has forced me to learn how to exit in a very ladylike fashion, so, yeah, not all bad.
I have lived in my family for eighteen years now, and I think after years of agonizing, asking questions, praying, and probing the depths with my inquisitive mind, I have finally grasped the tip of the iceberg on what a family is. So here it goes, this is one girl's idea of what a family is...
Being a Family Is Talking...a LOT!
Ever seen the Brady Bunch? You know those super chaotic scenes where all of the children are talking at once, and the parents are desperately trying to make sense of it? Yeah, that totally happens all of the time. From the moment you have more than one child and all of them can talk you begin conversation wars where everyone is attempting to talk at the same time. The conversations can range from, knock knock jokes, the best way to take out a burgler (thanks to little brothers), why glitter and playdough are both acceptable, no, necessary substances (go team glitter!), music, politics, Hallmark Channel dramas, what so and so said on Twitter, when can we put up the Christmas décor (yes, I know it's September, who cares), the technical pattern of Yoda's speech, why Captain America is better than Thor, the latest from HonestToddler, and so forth. In the end someone usually looks like this.
Exhausting as these conversations are, they have groomed me and my siblings a lot. We are very funny people (other's words, not just mine ;), we can talk to any age group, and are actually pretty decent at improv games.
Being in a Family Is Being LOUD!
This seemed like an appropriate subject to move into considering the previous one. I'm just gonna shoot straight from the hip and say it, my family is loud. Some members more than others, obviously, but we are loud. We laugh loudly, many of us listen to music (yeah, that Austin and Ally soundtrack was me, no shame) my younger brothers get deeply involved in their Battlefield games to the point where I believe I may have gotten singed eyebrows from a nearby explosions.
Yeah, we may need to tone it down sometimes, ok, a lot of the time, but I have come to accept that being in a family, at least, my family, often means being loud. And when I am alone, I find it far too quiet. As loud as it gets around here, at least that noise means that I am surrounded by people I love.
Being in a Family Is Forgiving, ALL THE TIME!
It starts with siblings destroying block towers. It get's deeper over time. He hurt my feelings, she is ignoring me, he doesn't understand me. Parents have to forgive their children for saying hurtful things to them. Children have to forgive their parents for making mistakes, and vice versa. The idea of a family is that you have a group of imperfect beings who are bound in this close circle where they have to constantly interact, be given the choice of doing right and wrong, and treat others as Christ would want them too. News flash, imperfect beings, that ain't happening all of the time. And so you find yourself in the position of having to forgive someone, yet again.
Seven times seventy times people, and most of the forgiving you have to do in your life will be in your family.