December 1st, 2019
Let’s talk about family.
Not just the normal, DNA type. All kinds of family. The holidays mean a lot of different things to different people, and that’s mostly because of family and how you define it; how much you have, or don’t have, the strengths of those bonds and qualities of those relationships and what it actually means to be a family.
This is going to sound stupid (and when has that ever deterred me before?), but I was watching the Titans finale last night, and Dick Grayson (aka Nightwing) said two words at dinner that really made me understand it.
He was talking about how the strongest families can be made up of strays, which is how he sees the Titans. People who don’t fit into a particular box who find kinship with others who fall outside it, too.
He then says that what holds these families together is a lot stronger than blood; they are held together by a sense of duty and devotion.
And that turned on a lightbulb in my heart. Because that’s what a family is to me, and it draws a blueprint for anyone who’s looking for one.
I was blessed with a wonderful family through DNA; that doesn’t happen for everyone, and I appreciate it like the lightning double rainbow it is. But our literal connection wouldn’t mean anything if we weren’t committed to seeing each other, and listening to each other, and helping each other when we need it. A lot of you know some of the things I’ve been through, and my family was there every step of the way. They are essential to me.
And then I think about my other families, like my work family. The co-workers who I consider my family have a sense of duty and devotion not only to me, but to the job we do. That sense bleeds through us and it makes us stronger as humans, whether we consciously know it or not.
And now this is the important part: some people hate the holidays because of family, or the lack thereof. But Batman, of course, gives Dick advice: we get the impulse to turn inward when things get hard. If he wants to be a part of a team, then he needs to treat everyone else like they’re a part of it, too.
And that’s family.
I hope you all can share a place of peace at the table this season. ❤