I spent much of last week surrounded by extended family. I now know that our close relationships are not as common as I once thought. Growing up, I believed families like my own were the norm. I was often surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Many of my cousins are as close as siblings.

I don’t want to suggest that we all get along all of the time. There are certainly moments of hurt, anger or disappointment. Ultimately though, we support each other in times of celebration and rally around each other in times of need. We love each other despite our flaws and stumblings.

One of the reasons I appreciate teaching elementary school as much as I do is the opportunity to develop intimate classroom families. By spending ten months of the year together, day in and day out, we develop relationships with our students and they with each other. We read and learn together; we problem solve and compromise; we celebrate the highs and comfort through the lows; we laugh together and cry together.

Families come in many forms. Home. Work. Church. School. The events of the last few weeks have reminded me to enjoy each moment with our families. We just don’t know what lies ahead.

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