Family

9 Feb ’15: QofDay: Family Style

Today is Family Day in Canada, please share what “style” your family is/was – traditional of your society or alternative makeup?

I had two parents who were separated by the death of my father in the early hours of the morning following my 40th birthday (I owned the house next to their’s).

I have been married twice. I have been married to Ailsa for close to 21 years. We have a daughter who is 19, and Ailsa has effectively been mum to my son who is 29. I have two full sisters and a half brother. My Dad had 5 brothers and a sister, my mum had 4 sisters and 3 brothers. At one point I had 46 first cousins, most of whom I knew quite well as a child and have long since lost touch with.

I have 4 nephews and 3 nieces, about half of whom have children.

Growing up we often had extras in our house, family has always been an extended family, which often included waifs and strays that just happened into our lives, many of whom remained in contact for many years.

I spent 4 years as a solo dad between marriages, and I always had mum and dad next door, so it was not an insular role.

Both of my children have now left home, and I am still in contact with my daughter most days (we had a skype video chat for half an hour this morning), and my son most weeks.

And we currently have 4 wwoofers in residence, a German couple and two young guys (school friends doing their OE in a gap year) from LA.

We often have visitors, friends, wwoofers, scientists, hitchhikers, politicians, environmentalists, and many stay in touch for extended periods (many years). We had one French guy who came for a 2 week visit and left 6 months later. We’re flexible like that.

We also have two largish dogs, which occupy a lot of space in the house.

Some friends are very much family.

And many aspects of community are like family.

So family is very much an extended thing, partly traditional, partially transcendent of tradition.

Another set of complex relationships in many different domains.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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