Family. A crazy fruit-bowl that is family.

Today I literally jumped out of bed excited about what word I would randomly choose from my jar.

I had to delay the moment though as my son was demanding ‘breakfast…BREAKFAST NOW….puuhlease’.

There was a quick chat with Master Six over breakfast-making about whether I was a ‘banana-face’ or not – apparently that is just the most hilarious/insulting name you can give anyone – and then I chose my word – Family.

I love my family. My immediate family. My extended family. My family that are my friends and colleagues.

Families come in all shapes and sizes, but hardly any of them are of the Hallmark card variety. It’s the families we choose (the friends-variety of family) that usually provide what we crave and expect from family – acceptance, validation, unwavering support and very little dysfunction – at least that’s what I hope your friends are like.

Then there’s your real family. The ones that think it’s okay to call you a ‘banana face’, or revert back to childish teasing and other annoying behaviours not seen in their everyday adult lives.

We’re likely to (consciously or sub-consciously) choose our friends based on shared values and beliefs; we’re all oranges in the same fruit bowl, or we’re all apples, maybe we’re all bananas! The main thing is we get each other because of our similar view of the world.

The families we grow up with are a completely different matter.

While we’ve been raised in the same environments and probably with some values in common and shared experiences, we don’t get each other…well not all of the time.

We’re mean to each other sometimes and not even sure why. We’re hurt by each other sometimes and the other party doesn’t know what they did. We have unrealistic expectations that we should all just get along all of the time because we’re ‘family’.

We don’t get that we’re all different – apples, oranges, bananas all thrown together by nothing other than DNA or environment.

This is a crazy fruit bowl called family.

When we accept and appreciate our differences, instead of craving similarities that don’t exist, we can make one heck of a fruit salad.

And even on the days that the fruit in the bowl is threatening to turn, I  will try to remind myself that when it really counts, we do love each other and will do anything for each other. Being there when it counts is family.

‘Family’ is today’s word out of the jar. Read more about my Out of the Jar project here.