Melissa Pearl is a Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator and has been with The Family Place for the past two years. Family is a favorite topic for Melissa as she has spent so much of her career working with many different ones…and is a huge fan of her own!

“Some families are big. Some families are small. Some families are the same color. Some families are different colors.” – Todd Parr, The Family Book. I love this simple yet beautiful piece of work. It introduces how family can be, well, anyone. And anything if you have read Are You My Mother? ! (as the sweet little bird asks the big thing if it was his mother. It just said SNORT!)

Perhaps family is more of a feeling…is that possible? I would dare to say yes. Family means warmth, connection, safety, silly, home. Is it always pretty and wrapped up in a bow? Certainly not. Does family also mean raw and vulnerable and tender? Most definitely. And our time with our family, from a very early age, can help us become the individuals we want to be on our adventure through this world.

When I think of family, traditions and rituals also come to mind. Does anyone else have family norms and traditions that hold a significant place in your heart? My kids say “Christmas jammies” or “Friday night pizza”..these are a couple of times that stand out where these traditions are more than just the actions, but the feelings and memories that really define them.
As the weather begins to cool this month, I love the opportunities for family time that are popping up all around us. We love a good October hike! But just as nice, and closer to home, might be the chance to collect leaves and get busy with some leaf rubbings or collage creating.
Baking muffins, doing puzzles, cuddling up with favorite books under a blanket fort…the list of family togetherness opportunities are endless, right?

And when the family unit is feeling less than together, it’s just as important to notice the “feels we feel”. Is someone angry? Are there acting out behaviors? Perhaps, in the midst of a more challenging time in our world, we have to slow down a bit and notice what our people need. Without a doubt, I have heard many comments on the overload of stress and anxiety and uncertainty trying to settle into our spaces these days. Not the most welcoming and cozy family feelings sometimes, however all of these have their place. We owe it to ourselves and our sweet people we hold dear to recognize our experiences, name them, and give ourselves grace as we work through them. Because “all families can help each other be strong”. Whether beautiful, messy, close by, far away, noisy, quiet, and all the in between, let’s embrace our FAMILY.


**I came across this delightful song on the Sesame Street in Communities site called “The Family Song”- the link is below, and I invite you to check it out!