What is Home?
In the last three weeks, I have moved, and two people who are very close to me have also moved. That includes my mother, who is moving out of the home I grew up in and getting remarried. All of this shifting and changing has got me thinking about what ‘home’ even means.
Thinking about what it means that my mom will be married to someone not my dad is also strange to think about, especially as an adult child. What will his role in my life be? I’m done being parented. I live thousands of miles away. It’s foreign territory for all of us.
As a child you develop a concept of what ‘home’, ‘family’, and ‘parents’ mean. For me those words meant my house, my parents and brothers, all living together. That’s how my life worked and it’s how most of my friends’ lives worked. After my parents got divorced in my early twenties those concepts had to change and shift. And that was hard. Some of my most deeply engrained assumptions were challenged in some serious ways. Now that is happening again. Since moving away, coming ‘home’ has meant coming to my house that I grew up in and hanging out with my mom. Soon it will mean coming to my mom’s new house with her new husband.
Don’t get me wrong; I am very happy that she is happy. She has found a great guy who will take great care of her, and she will take great care of him. It just means a lot of changes.
Some of these changes have implications from a Church perspective. I know that my connection to my mom is intact even though my parents’ sealing has been canceled (at least that’s what my bishop tells me). But now that she is being sealed to someone else, what will my connection to him be? And her fiancé hasn’t been able to get his sealing to his ex-wife canceled, so what does that mean for my family, specifically my mom?
All of these questions are illustrative of the problems and inconsistencies with the Church’s current doctrine of families: ‘traditional’ families are they only correct way, but men can be sealed to multiple women, but we don’t practice polygamy any more!, but we don’t know what to tell you if your family doesn’t fit the mold; oh and men are supposed to preside over their families but we also don’t know what to tell you about blended families. All of this has left me with a lot more questions, and doubts, than answers about what a family is and how it is supposed to work. It has left me wondering where my place is.