We all know that families now aren't necessarily like Ozzie and Harriet (it turns out Ozzie and Harriet's family wasn't all Ozzie and Harriet)... family has a traditional context, but today it's not as simple as two parents with 2-3 kids... it's about relationships... it's about people who are bound together by love and a sense of being responsible for one another... it's spouses with no children, like Jeffrey and me... it's a group of women who meet to cook dinner together once a month... it's a one-parent family with adopted children... it's two men who've made a life together... at the end of the day, all we have is love... getting love, but even more, feeling love... — Ina Garten, chef and cookbook author
IN TODAY'S SESSION... the participants talked about love and families in the context of the second Principle, "all people should be treated fairly." They drew who lives in their house and talked about whom they consider family. They heard a story about the diversity of families and how each family is unique and surrounded by love. Participants learned a breathing meditation to help them visualize love.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... love without boundaries within families, using the questions below that apply.
- Does your family live in one place or more than one place?
- Where in your community, do you see other families?
- How do you show other families that they are important?
- What's the very best thing about your family?
- What makes your family laugh together?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... spending one more hour a week together as a family. You might invite another family to join yours for an activity suggested below.
Family Adventure. No-cost family events are the best. Take a family walk around your community. How are the families in your community diverse? Do you find any families that need help? Did a family lose an animal you can help locate? Does someone need help with yard work?
Family Discovery. The Families with Purpose website offers games, recipes, activities, and science for families. Books to read aloud as a family include:
A Gathering of Days - A New England Girl's Journal 1830-32 by Joan W. Blos (Atheneum, 1990); The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Harper-Festival, 2008); Rules by Cynthia Lord (Scholastic Paperback, 2008), a Newberry Award book about a family with an autistic child; Espernaza Rising by Pam Munzo Ryan (Blue Sky Press, 2002), about an immigrant family; The Watsons Go To Birmingham — 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (Laurel Leaf, 2000), the story of an African American family during a key year in the Civil Rights movement.
A Family Ritual. Rituals bring families together. At bedtime, before reading aloud together, fill a clear bowl with water. Bless the water by saying together "Love surrounds us in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and time we spend together." After reading a book aloud, take turns dipping fingers in the water and touching the water to your forehead. Use the words "Blessings on your day."