What Are Families For?

Katherine - Brookfield, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

What Are Families For?

By: Katie Sauer

I believe in the importance of families because a family is one thing I can’t live without. No one can replace my family, the way they support me, or the feeling of belonging I get from my family. The members of my family are the people who know me best, so I can always be myself when I’m with just my family. They will accept me with whatever flaws I have, and love me anyway. (How many of your friends can you say the same for?) The same fact is true in reverse, because my family is not what you would consider “normal,” but I wouldn’t change it even if I could.

When I was growing up, my family was just like the families you see on television: I had a stay-at-home mom, a working dad, a baby brother, and an older sister. I remember helping my best friend through her parents divorce and hoping that that would never happen to me. The next thing I know, my parents got a divorce. Having that happen changed my life and me as well. Suddenly, I had two houses and two families each with only one parent. I was saddened by this at first, but now I have a more optimistic perspective because unlike most people who have one family, I have two, which is my gain.

One of my favorite things about my family is having cousins who, to me, are just built-in friends: people I can hang out with, who are like siblings to me, only I don’t have to live with them all the time. My favorite activity to do with my cousins is our annual camp-out. Some of my uncles and their families meet my family at our favorite campground. Then, we go on hikes, make huge campfires, tell stories, and play games together. Camping is so much more fun when I can share me memories and experiences with my cousins.

Then again, families aren’t only for having fun. They can also be just what you need when times are rough. For example, after the divorce, my mom got three cats so my siblings and I each got to name one. When my cat died, I felt sad and isolated. That was my first experience with death, and since I was only ten at the time, I didn’t know how to deal with it. My cousin, Megan, gave me a bag of toys and candy and told me how she dealt with her dog’s death. That helped me feel better and made me realize that even when I feel alone, my family is always there for me.

My family is the people who encourage me to go for my dreams, believe in me, and support me. For me, family is like a “safety net”. They make me feel secure in trying the most daring of feats yet, as much as they want me to succeed, they are always there to catch me if I should fall.