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September 3, 2013
What Makes Your Family Unique?

This is kind of a very informal blog post to get me going again.

I've been thinking lately about what makes different families distinctive.

One friend's family is hilarious--yes, each member with a quirky sense of humor.  Another family is really into sports.  The parents are running constantly to get to practices and games on time.  Another family is superb about making time for camping, hiking, biking, and just playing together.  I also know families that are really into music, or hunting, or technology.

I started thinking about my family: what is our thing?

I'd say the thing that makes us most distinctive from the larger culture is our faith.  Praying at the drop of a hat as a need presents itself, studying and discussing the Bible together, attending church every chance we get, worshiping and serving as a family and as individuals.  But those things don't make us very distinctive from other Christian homeschool families.

There are a couple of things I see that are somewhat unique about our family.

One is the importance we put on family.  While family reunions wither because of strife, we do everything we can to be at family get-togethers.  It's complicated by the fact that our families of origin live 1,100 miles apart, but we do what we can to keep in touch.  Not that there's not a lot of improvement that could be made!  But we made sure our children, who were very young at the time, visited my grandmother in the assisted nursing facility (bringing great joy to the other residents, too), even when older family members didn't.  Our young children sat next to their grandfather as he lay dying in the hospital.  They saw more of their grandfather who lived 1,100 miles away than other relatives who lived twenty minutes away!  My husband and I were very close to our grandparents and cherished our families (when I was growing up I was part of a huge family that got together twice a year with at least 100 people there, and was close to my great uncles), and we want our sons to do the same.

The other way I think we're somewhat unique is our interest in politics and current events.  Our teenager spends hours on the internet researching politics and government.  Recently, he researched the campaign slogans of presidential elections back to the early 1800s, and viewed presidential debates on YouTube.  We watch NBC news and listen to conservative talk radio to examine both perspectives.  If we had cable, we would probably watch Fox News constantly!  We attend debates and local political events as a family, and when we find a candidate we support, we do what we can.  My husband has quite a history of political activism and involvement, and our sons and I are able to learn a lot from him and now share his enthusiasm.

We also love to research and read.  My younger son reads every library book he can get his hand on about whatever is his topic of choice.  Last year, it was fishing.  He read well over 50 adult books about fishing--techniques, anatomy of fish, etc.  This year it's cars, atomic weapons, and related topics.  He recreates some of what he's learning about through building detailed Lego creations.  Our older son read over 600 comics last year and has a huge collection.  His knowledge is encyclopedic.  He also writes comics and keeps a journal.  Most interestingly to me, he frequently compares and contrasts something in the comics with something in the current news.  My husband doesn't have much time to read for pleasure, but when he does it'll be about the Bible, history or politics.  As for me, in addition to keeping up with legal happenings, I love to read anything about homeschooling.  :)

So...that's a little about our family.  What about yours?

What makes your family unique?



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