As a cradle Catholic, I grew up thinking that the saints were as real as my friends. Only, they had more power—although not quite dressed as fashionably as the Super Friends. Aside from my family, they were the constant in my life. And I don’t just mean in a spiritual abstract way. I mean, their photos and statues were in all the places I spent most of my time. They were there in our house. In my grandmother’s house. My aunt’s house, where I spent summer vacation. At church. In school. They’d even be at the department store—even if they were there for different reasons. They were always the same. Always in the same pose. Always dressed in the same way. Always with a halo.
I remember being struck by a song in a popular children’s video I was watching with my daughter. The song was about families and how we have different kinds (there was one where the dad was “far away”, one where the head was the grandma, etc.). The main theme of the song was for us to accept that families now come in “all different sizes and different kinds”. Some families have both parents; others live in a single parent household; some live with a caregiver. And in all instances, you are still a complete family. The song made me realize that we now live in a very different world from when there was typically a Father, a Mother and Two Children.