To study the concept of family in sociology is to approach a many tendril’d institution with a pince-nez that can only see so much at a time. Granted, that can often be all of academia, but with family especially the coldness, the hardness, the brutal honesty that comes with intense study is amplified. Family is warmth (ideally); it is unconditional support (hopefully): but it is also flexible, and human, and with that humanity it is subject to corruption, to decay, to tragedy, to change, to heartlessness. Like everything, family is complex.
But sometimes it doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes you’re a fairy tale character waiting to be reunited with the family that you love and hold constant, and when that reunion happens, everything else falls into place. You’re reinvigorated, ready to take on the world once more after your mother’s hugs, your father’s advice, your brother’s jokes. The stress of the world takes a backseat if only for a little while.
Families aren’t perfect. Many people don’t have a family they are comfortable around, or a family period. And that’s okay. Family is flexible, like I said, and it doesn’t always have to be blood. Family is where you can find unconditional love, recuperation. Family can be hard at times, but that’s kind of what makes all the good times worth it.
Family is good. And I can only speak for myself when I say that more than anything else over the past four months, what I needed was family. And I’m so lucky to have so many different families in different parts of the world, but sometimes all you really need is a mother’s hug. So go hug your parent, or your parent equivalent. It makes everything better.
Shout out to you, mamma. You give the most wonderful hugs. And yes, I really do think about you when I’m in Boston. Just ask my friends who still haven’t gotten sick of hearing about “Mama Lasharie.”