I am drawing a simplified family tree for my son to show him how the cousins of my generation line up to the cousins of his generation. We get through most of it, and he seems to understand it all, even when I include the names of my step-siblings and their children. I thought that this last concept might be a bit confusing for him, since I got my step-siblings when I was already a teen and only saw them for a few weeks over the summers before I went to college. My son has never met them.
He seemed to take it all in stride, which reminded me that he has never been locked into the idea of a standard family type.
When I was young, divorce was still a rare occurrence in our small community. Most of the families I knew looked just like mine - a husband, a wife and multiple children. Now, my son has a much wider range of what a family looks like - there are several children in his class who split time between divorced parents, some who have step-siblings, others live with grandparents, some have a single parent and some live with two Moms
I like that there is no "normal" now and try to reinforce that for my son when he asks me questions. And I try to keep myself up-to-date. Just recently I learned there is an increase of cohabiting parents who aren't married (and don't have plans to get married anytime soon). Whether it is for economic or personal reasons, I can see why the trend is on the rise.
My son asks about my relationship with my wonderful husband. I tell him that it was important to us to get married before we had him. And it was important to each of us that we were marrying the right person. I've been lucky enough to have loved my husband for a very long time. I tell my son that he will need to decide what is important to him as he gets older.
What questions do your children ask about other families? Tell me in the comments.