Monday, 30 December 2013

My Beautiful Children

 Christmas is complicated in our combined family, perhaps for all families as we all try and see as many family members as possible.  I have three sons and a daughter-in-law and my partner has three sons, a daughter and a small granddaughter.  Two of his children are in serious long-term relationships and the youngest has recently taken the initiative and is engaged. I now have a relationship with people for whom there is no clear definition - my partner's son's fiancee visited over Christmas and as for her extended family, both her parents are divorced and re-married to people with families of their own.  Modern life is complicated.

I was talking about this recently in my weekly French class; my teacher is a French national and she and her partner came over to England about 10 years ago and settled in East Anglia, running a very successful cafe with delicious home-made food and welcoming fires, all very much in the French tradition and very popular too!  I can drop in for a cup of coffee and a croissant before heading upstairs for some serious French conversation. She tells me that the French too have no words for this complex interweaving of family ties but simply have the same name for in-laws and step-relations. Thus my daughter-in-law, my step-daughter and step-daughter-in-law-to-be are all my belles filles, my beautiful daughters, and my step-sons etc are my beaux fils. So they are all my beautiful children!

And it was wonderful to see so many of them over Christmas.

16 comments:

  1. There is no name to describe that relationship that I have ever heard of. I would call them extended family of so and so. The more family the better. Your tree is lovely. It reminds me of the trees we had as a child. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  2. yes I agree, the more family the better. Our family gets huge pleasure in welcoming one and all. You sound like the kind of lady who has enough love for all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 'Beautiful children' sounds good enough to me! Hope you have a peaceful 2014, full of love. Abby x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Marianne,

    The subject could either be described as complicated and intricate or very simple, as your French friend explained. In the meantime, spending quality, quiet time around that lovely Christmas tree, is clearly, the best idea!

    Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2014!

    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a lovely post Marianne, how marvellous that you can widen your circle and draw them all in. Thank you for your message. I wish you and your extended family a very Happy New Year, with much love, Linda x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, I really like the French words for these relationships, beautiful children indeed! My daughter and her partner hosted their two families this Christmas -- 20 of us, all as one beautiful big family for the day, quite wonderful! Happy New Year to you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you so much for your kind words over at my place. I wish you and yours a wonderfully Happy New Year.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is a complicated world of relationships today, but in a world where their is so much loneliness and friends are virtual, it is nice to be part of a large "family" (blood or not) that want to spend time together.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oui – vive la belle-famille! (viva the in-law family) and Bonne Année (in France we can wish it until the end of January.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. A lovely post. I have such a small family, so far-flung, that I read this with longing.....

    ReplyDelete
  11. The French are wise and wonderful that way. It's kind of like how we've come to use the word partner for spouse and/or lover of either gender and either orientation. Basically, no matter the word, it denotes a loved one and it's all good. Glad you had a family filled Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We too are part of a complicated, blended family. I love the idea of calling them all belles filles or beaux fils. There are some relationships for which existing words are simply inadequate. How do I describe my relationship with my step daughter? Step daughter sounds far too cold. I don't for a moment feel that I am her mother. She has a mother. But oddly I do feel that she is my daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I now greet my step children etc with 'Hello beautiful girl/boy' and it seems to go down very well - happily they all are just that - beautiful people. I feel very blessed.

    Thank you for all the lovely comments! Much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Visiting your blog is a true refreshment Marianne. Beautiful words, beautiful pictures - I can almost smell the grass in the field!

    It has taken a while to succeed with this comment, I am a cobwebbed blogger these days!

    Thank you for saying hello - it's been a great pleasure to call here. X

    ReplyDelete
  15. Complicated families seem to be the norm these days, although perhaps I should substitute the word 'complicated' with 'interesting' ...
    I think the French description is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is a very nice way of referring to these complicated relationships. Well done the French!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are fun and I love to know you have visited and what you think so please say hello.