As the world gets bigger, families need to expand. Two mommies not only rely on the usual cadre of pals and relatives that all lucky people do, they are wise to attach a couple of necessary and loving male figures. The two dads often do the same, and every single parent I know has managed, through love and bribery and persistence, to create a network (and a safety net) for their small basic unit. This seems like a good thing, for all of us. For those of us in the more conventional units, these others who go out and forage for family are excellent role models, and sooner or later we would be wise to imitate them. Instead of lonely widows in condos, wouldn't a lot of us be happier four to a house, taking our chances on Susan's coq au vin and Thursday night poker? Mightn't the single mothers and four children be better off sharing a place, chipping in from two salaries for an au pair? It sounds practical, which it is, but it is also about love. Our capacity to love is not limited; time is a constraint and so is energy, but love that makes your life better gives you more of what you need.
Old-fashioned (whatever that is), or brand-new (to us), there is no kind of love and no kind of family we should ever turn our back on. Friends creating a household, people joining forces to care for elderly parents, single parents creating a little village, single men and women finding some passionate attachment to others, whether romantic or platonic: Let's throw open the doors in our lives to a variety of families, and gather up the whole beautiful, variegated bouquet of them.
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